With increasing housing densities, changing lifestyle and recreational trends and a push towards more environmentally sustainable development, the way in which open space has traditionally been provided within our communities is increasingly being questioned. Throughout our projects we have been exploring different ideas in response to these issues under what we call 'living spaces' - creating open space which is multiple-use and more land efficient, is better linked and encourages walking, cycling and active recreation, promotes better environmental and maintenance outcomes and importantly, better reflects what people want and adds 'life' to the community in which it sits.
For this project, a 150ha new community in Queensland, the site adjoins regionally significant conservation and low-lying flood plain areas. Rather than seeing this as a constraint and turning our back on is area, we worked closely with specialist WSUD consultancy DesignFlow and Landscape Architects Vee Design to develop a street and open space network which maximised view lines and access to these areas and introduced a range of features such as pathways and boardwalk trails, wetland and environmental interpretive areas and small 'break-out' spaces that would turn this area into the key recreational destination for the community whilst still protecting its environmental values. The more traditional neighbourhood park, which was centralised within the residential area, was designed to incorporate a broader range of landscape, recreational and WSUD functions than is typically found in that park type and was connected to the wider open space and conservation network through a series of linear parks and 'green streets' to create a network which improves WSUD outcomes, encourages walking and cycling, is more cost effective to maintain and draws the amenity of the natural setting into the heart of the community.
Project: Plantation Palms (Mackay, QLD)
Description: Master planning and detailed urban design for 2000 home new community