A year on from the earthquake that devastated Christchurch, the red zone is changing from a scene of death to that of slow transformation.
While many residents feel frustrated at slow progress around engineering assessments or red tape tying up their future, the cordoned-off CBD red zone is barely recognisable.
The Hotel Grand Chancellor - once the city's tallest building - is now a slowly shrinking skeleton, while only a small handful of other high-rises - including the Forsyth Barr tower, the Copthorne and Holiday Inn hotels, the Newstalk ZB building - remain standing.
The Pyne Gould Corporation and Canterbury TV buildings, which crumpled, becoming death traps last February 22, are gone, with no hint of the tragedy that occurred.
All that remains at the CTV site, where one might expect a shear wall to still stand, is a shrine of soft toys and a fence lined with flowers.
Where once the heart of Christchurch stood, the Cathedral is in pieces, a shell of its former self, while the roads and river still bear the scars of land shifting during the ongoing quakes.
But, as Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) head Roger Sutton explains on a media tour of the cordon, there is hope for Christchurch yet.
"It's pretty strange," he says, taking in the air of abandonment in Victoria Square, on the corner of Colombo and Armagh streets.
"A year ago today, this would have been a bustling place - people meeting up for lunches with family and friends, people lying in the grass.
"Coming here, it makes me sad that there's no one else here, but it also makes me feel positive because I know we can build something much more interesting, much more exciting, much more pleasant than we had before."
Cashel Street's Restart container mall and neighbouring mall Ballantyne's are rays of hope amid the otherwise eerily empty shopping district, enabling some retailers to continue operating.
One high-rise hotel in the CBD is being restored, and will be ready for guests in two weeks' time, CERA says.
However, it will remain empty until at least next year, when the cordons around the city are lifted and business can return to normal.
Until then, Christchurch can do little but wait, and hope for its heart to recover.