The client brief called for three principal focuses: the creation of employment opportunities, capacity building or skills development, and maximising the socio and economic impact of the project at the local level. Budgetary and resource limitations coupled with intense local politics resulted in a very challenging environment for design and implementation decisions.
In an effort to maximise the impact of the project on the local community and to really understand the context in terms of local needs, social issues and available skills resulted in an extensive and protracted consultation process. Amongst others this process included a “Dream parks” competition for school children that resulted in significant insight into their social problems and needs as well as their perceptions of the environment.
World Water Day (Sunday 21 March) is a great time to remember the role that landscape architects play in managing water in the landscape. Over the last decade Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) has increased in importance as the world understands the importance of water in cities and the effects of climate change. The video above published by the Landscape Institute is a great example of the material available on the net in assisting landscape architects understand WSUD, but also use the video as a tool to educate the public on the importance of water in cities.
Lehae Park is situated to the south of Johannesburg in the context of a new government-housing scheme. At the time of commissioning of the design, less than half of the residential units were constructed but the first members of the community had been moved into the area.
The VPUU (Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading) an urban renewal project of a network of play courts , school play grounds, commercial squares and pedestrian linkages, in Harare Khyalitsha. Developed as a response to the communities expressed desire for safer streets and routes to and from, schools, the CBD and Public transport.
The setting for this project is a 110 hectare sub-division of a wine farm in the Cape Winelands between Somerset West and Stellenbosch, consisting of existing vineyards and some indigenous natural areas largely infested with alien invader species.
Small wine farms are generally commercially unsustainable and to this end the client, a pharmaceuticals entrepreneur, wishing to enhance the value of his investment and diversify the land use, has developed a flagship stud farm, training facility, vineyards and olives orchards on land which he recognized as having potential due to its location and natural setting.
Dube Square is a unique example of landscape architecture – boldly bringing together the design of public space, the design of an iconic outdoor structure and the design sculptural, water and visual elements to create a memorable outdoor space.
Biomimicry offers enormous potential to transform our landscapes, buildings, products and systems. For every problem that we currently face – whether it is generating energy, finding clean water, designing out waste, manufacturing benign materials, or designing a Biomimicry Discovery Park there will be precedents within nature that we can study. We believe that our proposal has stayed true to this sentiment and produced a viable, beautify and functional project that ‘talks to’ the values espoused in Biomimicry.