About Life in Vacant Spaces
Established in 2012, Life in Vacant Spaces (LiVS) is a charitable trust dedicated to reimagining the face of Ōtautahi Christchurch. Our primary goal is to engage the city's citizens in the (re)creation of our urban spaces. We're not just dreamers; we're doers. We offer assistance to anyone brimming with a transformative idea, providing access to land for temporary projects or interventions. Through the years, we've fine-tuned a myriad of mechanisms to achieve this.
At LiVS, we envision a city teeming with creativity, community spirit, and entrepreneurship. We believe that the key to a vibrant Ōtautahi Christchurch is already within its borders, waiting for the right spaces to flourish.
What We Do:
- Connection: We link owners of vacant land and buildings to individuals and groups bursting with innovative ideas to utilise these spaces
- Support for Creatives and Entrepreneurs: Whether you’re a community group, an artist, a social enterprise, or a startup, we're here to bridge the gap. Our mission is to provide you with the temporary spaces, tools, and resources to turn your vision into reality.
- A Charitable Trust with a Mission: As a charitable entity, our goal isn't profit. It's progress. We are dedicated to fostering a city where imagination thrives, and every dream gets a fighting chance.
Join us, if you own a vacant property or have a groundbreaking idea, let's collaborate and make Ōtautahi Christchurch the city of endless possibilities!
Huritanga: 10 Years of Transformative PlacemakingThis book celebrates a decade of Life in Vacant Spaces, affectionately known as LiVS, and the collection of over 700 projects that LiVS have supported in the ten years since the devastating Canterbury earthquakes of 2010/2011. The projects supported by LiVS have varied in shape, scale, location, aims, outputs, participants and people reached.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to purchase a copy.
Price: $15 (including postage anywhere in Aotearoa, New Zealand)
I've recently stepped into a director position, where my unique combination of skills will be put to good use. Beyond my artistic talents, I am passionate about networking and continually seek to learn and grow. In an ever-evolving world, I pride myself on being a beacon of creativity, adaptability, and relentless drive.
Paul Lonsdale (Chair)Paul currently manages the Central City Business Association and post the February 2011 earthquake he was one of the key leaders in the Re:START initiative (container mall) which was the first step in bringing life back to the central city sooner than would have otherwise been possible.
Paul stayed on to manage Re:START to local success and international acclaim. Re:START gave Paul a passion for activation work in city spaces and showed him what could be achieved with a bit of effort. He has worked with LiVS during its early phase and believes LiVS still has an important role to play in the future of our beautiful city.
Paul loves the creative side of life and has a passion for art and music. When time permits, he loves to play his guitar or get stuck into some good old renovation work around the house.
Bridget Beck (Treasurer)Bridget is an Associate at Kendons, Business Advisors and Chartered Accountants. Originally from Southland, Bridget and her family moved to Christchurch in 2008 and were just starting to get used to the “big city” before the earthquakes struck. Post-earthquakes, one of the Directors at Kendons became involved with Gap Filler and when the idea of LiVS was mooted, it was suggested that Bridget act as the Treasurer – so Bridget has been involved since the day LiVS began. Now a Trustee, Bridget values being involved with a Trust that provides an opportunity for start-up businesses to “give it a go” with very little cost and that encourages and helps to create life in the city. In her spare time Bridget can be found playing the cello with the Canterbury Philharmonia, standing on the side lines of a rugby or AFL field watching family play or walking her two Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Boris and Bronte.
Laura Mc Donnell (Secretary)Laura works as a legal executive at a Christchurch law firm whilst studying towards a law degree, and joined the LiVS team at the start of 2023. Laura was born and bred in Ōtautahi and has enjoyed witnessing the rebuild of the city she calls home after her family lost their home in the Canterbury earthquakes. Outside of work and study, Laura enjoys spending time in the outdoors with her partner, their bikes and their dog, and enjoying good food with friends and family.
Gaby MontejoGaby Montejo is an interdisciplinary artist with a sometimes performative style who uses human relations as a catalyst and works with politics as medium; making for an event that is not always predicted or defined. With often some aspect of food displayed at the centre of Gaby’s practice, he shows internationally and has had national exhibitions as well as a number of local initiatives, collaborations, and social interventions.
Linda GlasgowLinda is quick to see the potential in others and has a drive to connect people to their greater purpose. Her role as Office Manager/ Outreach at Gap Filler sees her building and maintaining relationships and nurturing those relationships to get positive outcomes for community development: places and neighbourhoods will flourish most if people are activating their strengths and passions. Linda has gained governance experience through school boards and more recently on the Gap Filler board. Linda enjoys long walks in nature with her husband and feels most grounded when she is in the Port Hills, walking on the beach or dancing to her eclectic playlist!
Lindsay ConrowLindsey is a Senior Lecturer in Geography at the University of Canterbury. She has a background in transport and urban design, with a focus on the ways they influence accessibility, equity and wellbeing.
Rosie MurphyRosie is an architectural designer, educator and facilitator. Her work involves co-designing architectural projects with children and young people, where she enjoys sharing her energy and creativity to empower others. Rosie is a passionate advocate for social and environmental justice, and has previously shared this expertise on the board of Architects Declare and Architects Climate Action Network. Rosie recently moved to Ōtautahi Christchurch from London, UK and has loved becoming a part of the local community, contributing to workshops, events and weekly community ecstatic dance!