Home' Commercial : Commercial Building and Design 2013 Contents 104 SCOOP Commercial Building & Design 2013
Essays | Going green
These subtle details, like the Absolute Stone
paving and references to a location’s history, don’t
jump out at every visitor, but they influence how
we relate or connect to a space, how long we stay
there, and ultimately, our relationship with the
city these spaces sit within.
This kind of investment in place-making
has the potential to strengthen Perth’s identity,
and according to Matt Huxtable, fundamentally
change the way in which we experience the city.
President of the WA arm of the Australian Institute
of Landscape Architects, Matt believes you don’t
need to look any further than Melbourne to
understand the impact of well-designed green
space and public precincts. He says Melbourne’s
Federation Square was a prime example of a public
space that had become emblematic of a city in a
relatively short period of time.
“Look at any successful city in the world that
has a confident and robust sense of place – any
one of these cities has energetic, vibrant public
spaces,” he says. “As Australians, we generally love
to enjoy the outdoors, so as densities increase it is
important that we provide good public spaces that
encourage social interaction and hopefully get us
out of our backyard mentality.”
Matt also sees opportunities to explore and
celebrate our unique West Australian identity
through landscape architecture, and embrace
historic quirks, like our love affair with lawns.
It’s a romance that will be tested by the new
Elizabeth Quay development, as the waterfront
reaches back to reconnect with the city, reducing
the plain of green grass but creating a new corridor
of green spaces through which people can explore
and experience Perth.
In this time of rapid expansion Perth needs
to find a way to balance the value of its green
spaces with the necessity of urban development.
The folly of many other cities is that urban
progression is coming at the price of green
spaces, as in London, where the equivalent
of two and a half Hyde Parks of greenery are
paved over every year.
If the history of city planning has taught us
anything, it is that a city cannot continue to
thrive without its green spaces. Neglect them for
too long, and soon people will leave the city for
the suburbs and countryside, or at least a city that
places value on them in its urban landscape.
In order to establish an international reputation
for liveability, we need to marry the best of urban
life with the best of nature. As more and more
people move into Perth, will nature follow?
Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is the year’s most talked
about green project. The 101ha man-made forest includes
18 Supertrees that generate solar power, act as air-venting
ducts for nearby conservatories, and collect rainwater.
To generate electricity, 11 of the supertrees are fitted with
solar power systems that convert sunlight into energy.
Links Archive Commercial Designs 2012 Commercial 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page