The design concept for Lourinha Eco-productive Park combines public open space with the emerging tendency of urban food production and the ecological balance. The main goals were to restore the river habitat, to promote the practice of agriculture and to provide recreation.
Many allotments for horticulture set the design of the space and offer color and texture in the wide central area of the park. The rye field gives a pale brown color effect in addition to its production
A hazelnut orchard, a chestnut grove and a walnut trees clump are also productive and, at the same time, contrast with the open space of lower vegetation layers. The hedges of the allotments are planted with native shrub species like laurustinus, laurel, common hawthorn, strawberry tree, for example, combining different colors and fragrances that provide high ecological and aesthetic quality. The streams have riparian woodlands planted with ash trees, poplars and elders, for example, forming a transparent canopy and providing a fresh saunter for users.
The wildlife pond surrounded by the lawn (sitting area) attempts to boost insect and amphibious life. The pathway system was designed to access vehicles for cargo functions but also for walking circulation. Three main paths at the southern zone of the park and a fourth one in the northern zone, structure the accessibility in the park. In these four paths people can experience different visual contacts with the landscape. Along the rye fields people can enjoy the wide vistas and the wind effect on the ears of rye, and along the allotments people can feel the pleasant scent of vegetables and fruits.
As it was intended to preserve the character of the existing agricultural landscape, the existing structures (walls, water tank) are maintained and the planted crops are the same as the ones seen in the typical Portuguese kitchen gardens.
Lourinha Eco-productive Park in Oporto
Design | Alexandre Parente (MSc Landscape Architecture at Science Faculty of University of Porto)
Image & Text Credit | Alexandre Parente