The University of Canterbury has revealed its new post-earthquake design.

The "exciting" new development plan highlights a modern campus that inter-connects, embraces New Zealand's cultural identity, and aims to be a "little city inside a larger city".

The first stage of the master plan will be completed in time for the university's 150-year Jubilee in 2023.

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However, three flagship building projects will be opened over the next two years to kick off the 30-year master plan.

The fully refurbished Engineering Precinct will see its first students at the start of the 2017 semester, and the new Regional Science and Innovation Centre will open its doors mid-year.

The College of Education, Health and Human Development, in the completely renovated Rehua building, will open its doors at the start of 2018. Some programmes from the Business and Law College will also be hosted there.

The opening of these key buildings will create "some of the most modern teaching, learning and research facilities in the Southern Hemisphere", according to the university.

"Once those buildings are open and students are reaping the benefits, it will really energise our campus," learning resources executive director Alex Hanlon said.

"University Street" in the new-look University of Canterbury campus. Photo / Supplied

"But in the meantime, we are working hard on finalising critical aspects of the master plan, including transport, landscape and parking plans and a retail plan."

Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr said the master plan proves the university has largely completed its earthquake recovery.

"The plan is an exciting step, and tangible proof we are now very much looking forward into the future - one that will see UC with a bright, vibrant, modern campus that will lead the world in many aspects of its development."

Hanlon said consultation with staff, students and the community showed that people wanted "a connected campus, one that encouraged interaction and inspiration around a strong and vibrant central hub that buzzes with activity".

An open expression of culture was considered crucial to the project, he said, and Ngāi Tūāhuriri worked closely with the planning team to ensure the values and aspirations of mana whenua are "clearly visible and accessible".

"This is not a short-term vision. It's one that will guide campus development through to our jubilee and beyond," Hanlon said.

"Because of that, we've had to propose a staged development, and it has to be flexible of course - because so much can happen over a 30 year time span."

The University of Canterbury has revealed images of what its new campus will look like under a new 30-year master plan. Photo / Supplied
The University of Canterbury has revealed images of what its new campus will look like under a new 30-year master plan. Photo / Supplied

The first stage of the master plan will see key projects and initiatives completed in time to mark the 150th anniversary, while the second stage will be completed in the following 10 years. The third stage explores potential and identifies opportunities for expansion.

The plan has been developed to help the university achieve its strategic objectives of providing a unique and memorable campus experience, supporting innovative teaching and ground-breaking research, attracting increased number of students and encouraging ongoing engagement with the local community, he said.

"It will provide a safe, secure, pleasant and inspirational environment where our community can explore, learn, discover, debate and grow," Hanlon said.

More detail on the Campus Master Plan can be found here.