Nightlife in New Zealand Christchurch Has Bounced Back After 2011 Quake – Study

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | May 27, 2014 1:17 PM EST

A study released by University of Canterbury on Tuesday said nightlife in the 2011 quake stricken Christchurch in New Zealand has bounced back as much as 95 per cent to pre-earthquake levels.

The ongoing study from the College of Business and Law found that as of end February 2014, there are now at least 907 business establishments - restaurants, cafes and bars - operating in the city.

REUTERS/Henry Romero
A firefighter works to demolish a damaged wall of a building after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Mexico City May 8, 2014. The earthquake shook Mexico City on Thursday, rattling buildings and prompting office evacuations. The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake epicenter in the western Mexican state of Guerrero at a depth of 14.9 miles (23.9 km) just inland from the Pacific Coast. REUTERS/Henry Romero

The rebuilding and path to recovery program of New Zealand's second-largest city most definitely continues to gain momentum. As of January 2013, there were only 778 establishments operating in the area.

"Eleven percent or 103 hospitality businesses are new and have taken the place of some of the closed businesses," Associate Professor Sussie Morrish said in a statement.

The sad news is, 317 hospitality outlets that used to operate before the earthquakes have remained closed or may never open at all.

The researchers were able to gather their data using geo-spatial mapping with assistance from the UC Geography Department. They sad that hospitality businesses were going back to the same locations pre-earthquake levels contradicting presumptions Christchurch is slowly becoming a donut city.

In September 2010, a powerful magnitude 7 quake hit the region around Christchurch, but it only caused little damage and no deaths. Then, in February 2011 a magnitude 6 aftershock of the September quake struck beneath the city, killing 185 people and causing massive damage.

However, the study likewise found infrastructure, especially road building, has yet to keep up with business development, frustrating owners and their customers, since they need to use both public and private transport just to get to the establishment.

Christchurch was voted the second best city in the world to visit in 2014 by the New York Times which praised the city's ingenuity, and its entrepreneurs in bringing life back into the city.

Lonely Planet in 2013 placed Christchurch at number six on its list of the top 10 cities for that year, describing the city as "rising from the rubble with a breath-taking mix of spirit, determination and flair."

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(Photo: REUTERS/Henry Romero / )
A firefighter works to demolish a damaged wall of a building after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Mexico City May 8, 2014. The earthquake shook Mexico City on Thursday, rattling buildings and prompting office evacuations. The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake epicenter in the western Mexican state of Guerrero at a depth of 14.9 miles (23.9 km) just inland from the Pacific Coast. REUTERS/Henry Romero
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