Success stories when working with LiVS are common - the organisation helped Jed Joyce, aged 15 to set up a gelato cart, which he used to fundraise for his school trip. Now it’s his fully fledged business - Rollickin’ Gelato - on New Regent Street, and LiVS helped him the whole way.
“For me, LiVS allowed me to get my foot in the door for my business and trial my concept.” Joyce says without them, he wouldn’t have been able to trial the concept, and four years later become a paying tenant in the city.
Just down the road from Joyce’s Rollickin Gelato in Cathedral Junction, Imagination Station was set up with the help of LiVS in 2015.
It’s New Zealand’s first LEGO play and learning centre, complete with as many lego pieces as a child could wish for. It’s also stocked full of computers for users to build virtual lego and create animation.
“In the post earthquake Christchurch we definitely needed a bit of life and colour back into the city, and LiVS has done that,” says Operations Manager Anna Ross.
Imagination Station was originally a six month project, but over two a half years later the success of the pop-up means they’re still there. Ross says they hope for at least another year of being around.
“For us, it’s really important to provide a safe and accessible space for families to play and learn together,” Ross says.
Life in Vacant Spaces is full of project ideas waiting to go that will liven up Christchurch’s empty land. Now, they’re after more landowners of vacant land that LiVS can use to start up new temporary projects.
Head to livs.org.nz to find out more, and the benefits landowners, project partners and the community can get by being involved with Life in Vacant Spaces.