University of Oulu

Fieger P, Prayag G, Dyason D, Rice J, Hall CM. Exploring CBD Retail Performance, Recovery and Resilience of a Smart City Following COVID-19. Sustainability. 2023; 15(10):8300.

Exploring CBD retail performance, recovery and resilience of a smart city following COVID-19

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Author: Fieger, Peter1,2; Prayag, Girish3; Dyason, David4,5;
Organizations: 1School of Education, Federation University, Mount Helen, VIC 2351, Australia
2Business School, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
3UC Business School, Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
4Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand
5TRADE Research Entity, School of Economic Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
6College of Business Administration, University of Sharjah, University City, Sharjah P.O. Box 27272, United Arab Emirates
7Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
8Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
9Department of Service Management and Service Studies, Campus Helsingborg, Lund University, 25108 Helsingborg, Sweden
10Ekonomihögskolan, Linnéuniversitet, Universitetskajen, Landgången 6, 39182 Kalmar, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-02


The city of Christchurch, New Zealand, incurred significant damage due to a series of earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. The city had, by the late 2010s, regained economic and social normalcy after a sustained period of rebuilding and economic recovery. Through the concerted rebuilding effort, a modern central business district (CBD) with redesigned infrastructure and amenities was developed. The Christchurch rebuild was underpinned by a commitment of urban planners to an open and connected city, including the use of innovative technologies to gather, use and share data. As was the case elsewhere, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about significant disruptions to social and economic life in Christchurch. Border closures, lockdowns, trading limitations and other restrictions on movement led to changes in traditional consumer behaviors and affected the retail sector’s resilience. In this study, we used CBD pedestrian traffic data gathered from various locations to predict changes in retail spending and identify recovery implications through the lens of retail resilience. We found that the COVID-19 pandemic and its related lockdowns have driven a substantive change in the behavioral patterns of city users. The implications for resilient retail, sustainable policy and further research are explored.

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Series: Sustainability
ISSN: 2071-1050
ISSN-E: 2071-1050
ISSN-L: 2071-1050
Volume: 15
Issue: 10
Article number: 8300
DOI: 10.3390/su15108300
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
519 Social and economic geography
Copyright information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (