Vahid Askari

Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Business and Law

First Advisor

Dr Edward Andre

Second Advisor

Professor Geoff Syme


This work on the concept of creative cities is a response to my search, as a student of urban design, for innovative new strategies for redevelopment in worn out and distressed urban textures. This thesis comes from my own desire to apply creative development strategies with place-making practices to achieve a sustainable solution for Christchurch after the earthquake. Today, one of the approaches to achieving sustainable development of worn out city fabrics is to place emphasis on activities that are reflective of “creativity”. Richards and Raymond (2000) describe creativity as a form of tourism that offers the opportunity to develop creative potential for visitors through actively participating in varying discourses and learning experiences. For example, creativity, as a place-making tool, explicitly provides international students visiting these destinations with opportunities to engage with the domestic cultural heritage and lifestyle, in order to have a unique experience. Accordingly, creativity here is defined as a process of spill-over effects and interactions between varying regenerative planning and design paradigms, with a focus on various creative industry land uses and activities. The aim of this research is to focus on exploring how creative development strategies can be used to introduce new place-making tools for urban redevelopment in Christchurch. The city was struck by two of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded globally in an urban area, in 2010 and 2011. The quakes destroyed or severely damaged thousands of homes and businesses (Scott Miles., Dana Brechwald. et al. 2014). Consequently, the main economic casualties of the Christchurch earthquakes were the reduced numbers of international students, the reduction in tourism and hospitality, and chaos in the visual, urban design and functional aspects of the city.

In this research, I will focus on the perceptions of international students concerning placemaking. The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly, international students bring diverse cultural stances when evaluating their environment. Secondly, while being a class of tourist, they will spend enough time in the environment to experience more than the iconic sites familiar to shortterm tourists, and will consider longer term issues such as place-making. A positive place-making process would contribute to the processes of creating meaning, and open new dimensions for international students. If a Creative City is an equitable city, a placemaking strategy to achieve this would be one that recognises that cities are made up of many v different meanings and, consequently, differing interpretations, and that they require many different kinds of places for their expression.

Since the subject is an interdisciplinary field of research, the methodology will be a combination of qualitative, quantitative and case study methods including field observation; a survey questionnaire; and interviews with stakeholders, key professionals, and international students in three cities: Christchurch (The University of Canterbury), Perth (Edith Cowan University – Mount Lawley and Joondalup campuses) and Newcastle (University of Newcastle- Callaghan and Ourimbah campuses). Normally, an important technique for certifying the validity of case study research is triangulation. Denzin (1970) argued that data collection methods are generally triangulated (many methods are joined), but also, theory and data sources might also be triangulated. In this research, data triangulation will be implemented in both the literature review section and the theoretical framework section presented in the conclusion, comparing the differences and similarities of the case studies. According to the analyses of the collected data and the literature review, a theoretical framework will be provided, to be implemented in the Christchurch redevelopment process after the earthquakes. This case study methodology will form the basis of a place-making design strategy for the city.


Paper Location