About Life in Vacant Spaces

About LIVS

LiVS provides a comprehensive brokerage service for project partners and land owners. We are dedicated to inspiring Christchurch to activate our many vacant sites and spaces with creative, intriguing and entrepreneurial temporary projects.

Bunch 4

We work with landowners and project partners to bring life back to our vacant spaces.

July 1, 2012
Find us in person at The Corner Store
314 Cashel St
LIVS is led by a board of six.
LIVS awesome board members
Paul Lonsdale, Board member
Paul Lonsdale
Paul currently manages two business associations: the Central City Business Association and the New Brighton Business and Landowners Association. Post the February 2011 earthquake he was one of the key leaders in the Re:START initiative which was one of the first steps in bringing life back into the city sooner than would have otherwise been possible. Paul then stayed on to manage Re:START to international acclaim and local success. Paul has also been an elected City Councillor. 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 has an important role to still to play in the rebirth 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.
Kelly Dromski, Board member
Kelly Dromski
Kelly is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Canterbury, specialising in research and teaching in community development. She is a member of the international Community Economies Collective, a group of scholars and activists that research and act for forms of economy that are more socially just and environmentally friendly. Kelly writes and publishes in the area of community economies, feminist geography, development studies and more, doing fieldwork in China, South and Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Kelly is originally from the Wairarapa, is married to Travis and has three children. Outside of work, she spends what time remains practicing yoga, Chinese and Te Reo Māori, maintaining an overgrown garden, singing in a church band, and reading Sci-Fi.
Hugh Nicholson, Board member
Hugh Nicholson
Hugh is the Design Lead for the Residential Red Zone – an area along the Ōtākaro Avon River where more than 5,400 houses where removed after the Canterbury earthquakes. Hugh sees the Red Zone as offering an amazing opportunity to rethink how cities can work with nature and climate change. Hugh was the principal urban designer at the Christchurch City Council after the earthquakes and played a leading role in the subsequent recovery planning including the hugely successful 'Share an Idea' public engagement campaign. He also supported the establishment of Christchurch’s programme of transitional projects, including LiVS. In his spare time Hugh loves skiing and tramping with his family, and creating artworks out of old road signs.
Bridget Beck, Treasurer
Bridget Beck
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 Boris, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Gaby Montejo, Board member
Gaby Montejo
Gaby works as an interdisciplinary artist with a sometimes performative style. He uses human relations as medium for art, exhibiting nationally and internationally as well as being involved in a number of local initiatives, collaborations, and social interventions. Gaby also teaches Food Technology and Spanish.
Irene Boles, Irene is currently on parental leave
Irene Boles
Irene Boles moved to New Zealand in December 2010 after getting her Masters Degree in Architecture at the Technical University of Milan. She came to Christchurch two weeks before the February Earthquake, and since then she has been involved in a number of community focused activities related to the recovery and activation of the city she now considers her home. Her involvement has been with diverse projects including the Sumner Masterplan, FESTA, Christchurch the Transitional City Pt IV (co-editor) and TEDx Christchurch. Irene is currently tutoring the Bachelor of Architectural Studies and National Diploma programmes at Ara and works as a consultant for Anselmi Attiani Architects (winners of the Breathe Competition).
Tim Lester, Chairperson
Tim Lester
Tim Lester is a solicitor at the Christchurch District Health Board and initially provided pro-bono legal support to LIVS when working at Buddle Findlay. This led him to becoming a trustee in 2014. He spent a number of years in the UK and returned to Christchurch in 2012 and found a very different city to what he left. Tim is drawn to LIVS by the energy of its personnel and supporters and is excited to watch Christchurch transition into a new city. Outside of work and LIVS he enjoys spending time with his young family, playing sport and getting in some triathlon training.
Gary Franklin, Board member
Gary Franklin
Gary is a technologist and consultant with an interest in the arts. He previously served on the board of The Physics Room, a contemporary art gallery. He volunteers with New Zealand Business Mentors, and previously with Poetica, a project that placed poetry and art in public spaces. Gary is interested in how technologists can make better use of social, artistic, and historical perspectives. He is a contributing author to “Once in a Lifetime: City Building after Disaster in Christchurch.”