Introducing green infrastructure (GI) in highly urbanized territories is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for sustainable development.
BOXSCAPE is a Nature-Based Solution that aims to transform and enrich open public spaces, turning them into contemporary, environmentally friendly and self-supported areas. The concept revitalizes the GI and utilizes neglected оr highly built-up areas, turning them into social green cores.
BOXSCAPE concept promotes an attractive way for inviting more vegetation in the city’s green infrastructure (GI). Creating a sustainable and highly functional urban environment, that meets the recreational and aesthetic needs of the public as well as bringing social, ecological and economic benefits.
BOXSCAPE is a remedy for problems of urban environment like climate change, air quality, water management, biodiversity, desocialization etc.
The ideology behind BOXSCAPE is based on promoting and saturating the GI, combining aesthetics, social infrastructure and ecology. Creating new spaces for nature and people, working to revitalize the urban green system, boosting the synergetic effect of the system.
BOXSCAPE SYSTEM acknowledges TIME in the strictly three-dimensional urban planning and design. This allows the system to be implemented temporary at certain venue, unlocking it’s potential for benefiting people and bettering environment. Boxscape strategy recognizes four types of urban implementation:
- Wasted urban spaces;
- Unbuilt sites/lots. Including those with (future) investment interest;
- Urban elements (food vendors, bus stops, bicycle parking, public restrooms, etc.);
- Organizing events & seasonal businesses.
Boxscape system serves as a mediator between citizens, professionals, institutions and the green infrastructure, for the better future of our cities.
BOXSCAPE SYSTEM – components, format, characteristics.
BOXSCAPE SYSTEM is a modular solution which redefines and enriches open public spaces, promoting Green Infrastructure and social interaction. Its flexibility allows an adaptive ecological solution, where conventional Landscape architecture is inapplicable.
The Boxscape SYSTEM is implemented bythe BOXSCAPE UNIT, which can serve social, commercial and utility purposes, depending on specific demands. The unit is used 20ft shipping container modified with green walls and green roof. The standard size and durable structure of the container make it transformable, according to specific needs of the environment. The unit is prefabricated, mobile and ready to use when installed with minimum construction work.
The Boxscape UNIT can serve different social, commercial and utility purposes, depending on the specific demands: trade and food unit, bars, pop up markets, urban furniture, planters, bus stops, bike stands, storage spaces, community gardens, open library, cinema, theatre, class rooms, etc.
Each Boxscape UNIT can serve as an element of the GI alone or be combined using modules into BOXSCAPE SITE. The system’s square grid provides easy re-arrangement of the modules at different venues without conventional building techniques.
Open spaces are formed using spatial and planting MODULES (cells) while the Boxscape UNITS define the main function of the Boxscape SITE.
The flexibility of the system allows creating and organizing spaces in a different scale and various context.
1. By using native and locally adapted vegetation Boxscape brings nature back to the city, supporting the biodiversity. The Boxscape UNIT can create up to 3 times more vegetated surface, on the used area required for placement.
2. Boxscape UNIT uses a water tank to collect rainwater and reuse it for irrigation of its vegetated areas. This makes it an independent and self-supported element, which can satisfy its ecological needs for 15-30days. The Boxscape UNIT uses solar energy when electricity is not available on site.
3. Depending on the structure there are four types of BOXSCAPE UNITS:
- Open unit – green roof, without walls;
- Semi-open unit– green roof and up to 3 walls, fully or partially vegetated, partial wall opening;
- Closed unit – green roof, closed-form each side, at least 3 fully or partially vegetated walls;
- Half unit– horizontally cut shipping container, whose height depends on the purpose. *This unit allows the use of heavily damaged shipping containers.
Applying the boxSCAPE concept can help solve typical urban space issues, bringing social, ecological, aesthetic and economic benefits.
- Development of urban GI, combining ecology, aesthetics and function;
- Promoting sustainable city development and adaptive reuse;
- Reuse of shipping containers and recycled materials;
- Supporting biodiversity, bringing nature back to the city;
- Improving air quality and urban microclimate;
- Rainwater management;
- Creating highly functional integrated spaces;
- Promoting a sense of community and social interaction;
- Improving the health and wellbeing of the citizens;
- Creating areas for recreation and cultural purposes;
- Sustainable use of urban territory’s potential;
- Dynamically combining social and green infrastructure.
5.Characteristics of the SYSTEM.
- Modular system for organizing spaces for nature and people;
- Fast installation & Immediate effect;
- Recycled materials and adaptive reuse;
- Self-sustainable – Water catching & Photovoltaic panels;
- Flexible implementation – scale & context;
- Installation on paved surfaces or soil base;
- Transformation & Easy re-location, leaving the used site intact;
- Reduced planning time;
- Easy cost estimates.
6TRAM BOXPARK – BOXSCAPE SITE development
6TRAM BOXPARK is developed on the Boxscape platform. The chosen site is an example for wasted controversial public space.
The 6TRAM BOXPARK is located in the city center at a busy junction, bordering a shopping mall, busy street and a park. The space is a former tram line (Tram №6) which has been stopped for several years now. The future of the line is controversial and uncertain. Meanwhile the infrastructure is crumbling and polluting the environment, contributing to the heat-island effect and generating particulate matter.
Now – a neglected ‘dead space’ without any function or benefits for the citizens, despite its potential and key location.
6TRAM BOXPARK is creating face for the park hidden behind the shopping mall. While
re-organizes the space and demonstrates its full potential, turning it into a green social core.
Cores of the 6TRAM BOXPARK are the Boxscape UNITs. Main spaces are defined using vegetated modules and green insolation is formed to separate the street. Walkable surfaces are leveled with the sidewalk ensuring access for everybody.
Revitalizing the space we create a site that meets recreational and aesthetic needs, while bringing social, ecological and economic benefits. Some of the improvements and new features include:
- Enclosing the plaza from the busy junction. Improving the main role of the space as meeting point and transit. Adding the needed places for rest and wait;
- Preconfigurating the bus stop, making it safer. Adding shelter and seatings; Improving the capacity. Saturating with nature to fight the impact of the street;
- Place for the youth to gather, present, share;
- Rent & Repair bike shop;
- Separating the sidewalk from the street with green belt;
- Creating dynamic social spaces serving as urban catalyst;
- Education ‘Touch&Think’ area, for nurturing knowledge about nature and green infrastructure;
- Forming exhibition area for arts and small events;
- Overall visual and spatial improvement;
Developed with Boxscape system, the Boxpark is transformable space which can be re-located if necessary, leaving the tram line intact.
BOXSCAPE offers a modular, transformable solution which can be replicated at different city venues, depending on precise demands of the community.
Project credits: Landscape Design Studio
Image credits: Landscape Design Studio