Huritanga: 10 years of transformative placemaking - outdoor public exhibition

Lydia Hannah Thomas, Project Coordinator from Life in Vacant Spaces and Dr Reuben Woods (left), Director of Watch This Space getting the container ready. Photo: LiVS.

People of Ōtautahi – Christchurch and anyone visiting the area from 13 – 29 September 2022, Life in Vacant Spaces (LiVS) invites you along to celebrate this decade of 10 years of Life in Vacant Spaces (LiVS), come and have a stroll down Cashel St Mall and read all about LiVS over the years.

Funded by Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities, University of Canterbury, and Auckland University of Technology, the current exhibition features work by Amanda Yates, Hannah Watkinson, Rachael Shiels, and Kelly Dombroski.

About LiVS

Life in Vacant Spaces (LiVS) connects owners of vacant land and buildings with people who have big ideas to fill those spaces. They’re passionate about helping to create a city where anything can happen and anyone can give something a go.

The exhibition space at 110 Cashel Street Mall in Christchurch is an affordable space for a testing ground for innovators, communities, entrepreneurs, creatives and educators.

The LiVS (Life in Vacant Spaces) Incubator is an insulated, 20 ft container that provides participants with 14m2 of accessible, affordable and temporary central city space where individuals or groups can test out an early idea or project.

Depending on the project, time within the incubator will range from a minimum of 10 days up to a maximum of 2 months. This allows participants to commit to a certain time period and prototype their idea within a real world space. Having temporary projects in the space will allow for a diverse and ever-changing offering of projects over a 12 month period.

“We have a number of people coming to us (LiVS) with some amazing ideas to showcase, however, the commercial cost of a central city space is far out of reach for these individuals – let alone a 12 month lease. We wanted to give people an opportunity to be able to showcase their projects and ideas and bring back some of the diversity of projects central Christchurch once had,” says LiVS Director Elisha Blogg.

“The world is currently going through significant change and we want to continue to support great ideas and encourage people to give things a go. LiVS recognises that starting out and getting something off the ground can be difficult to navigate. The Incubator is here to help individuals kick off their journey with additional support through collaboration,” says LiVS Project Coordinator Lydia Thomas.

Throughout the duration of each project, LiVS provides advice and practical support around funding and project management. Participants can also benefit from LiVS’s wide range of networks and many years of experience to assist in the project’s success. If a particular project does thrive within the temporary space, LiVS can then work with the participant to find an ongoing more permanent and suitable space for the project.

The Incubator kicked off on Tuesday 13 September hosting The White Room Creative Space. An open air exhibition celebrating 10 years of LiVS as an organisation will also be on display alongside the Incubator on Cashel Street Mall from 13 to 29 September.

Read the research

Dombroski, K., Nicholson, H., Shiels, R., Watkinson, H., & Yates, A. (2022). Huritanga: 10 years of transformational place-making. ISBN: 978-0-473-65247-0. Christchurch: LiVS and BBHTC.

More information

If you have a great idea that you would like the opportunity to explore further through the LiVS Incubator, then email

If you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy BBHTC wellbeing compass aids in Bill submission.

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Date posted: 15 September 2022