News and Views

What’s happening in the world of Landscape? We’ll keep you up to speed with the changing world of landscape and the built environment with regular updates that are engaging, accessible and relevant.

HEAT MITIGATION IN DARWIN

Wednesday 7th, Feb 2018

In an effort to highlight and tackle heat issues in Darwin, CLOUSTON Darwin has been working with the NT Government Architect Professor Lawrence Neild and heat mitigation world expert Mat Santamouris (Professor of High Performance Architecture, UNSW) on landscape and building interventions to reduce temperatures throughout Darwin’s CBD.

Research undertaken by Mat has indicated that global temperature increases of 2 degrees can be multiplied by urban heat island effect’s resulting in temperature increases in tropical cities of over 10 degrees! Tree canopy cover and landscape solutions are a key aspect of the integrated solution and will play a major role in reducing surface temperatures that can be as high as 45-67 degrees in the wet season (November to April). These high surface temperatures have a significant impact on human comfort.

Figure 1. Surface temperature in the central CBD area of Darwin exceeds 60°c

Combined with other heat mitigation techniques it has been shown that Darwin’s city wide temperatures could be reduced by 2 degrees, cool noted ‘hotspots’ by as much as 6 degrees and reduce surface temperatures by up to 35 degrees. Preliminary financial modelling has indicated that savings in power costs associated with air-conditioning in Darwin CBD could ‘pay’ for the intervention works within 7 years!

The extensive research and modelling undertaken to date will inform a number of streetscape trial projects to be implemented in 2018. It is anticipated that this work, a first for a tropical city, will have widespread applications in other cities throughout tropical and equatorial regions.

Figure 2. Classification of the cost per degree of temperature drop for each of the considered mitigation technology
The blue zone corresponds to the technologies presenting a low specific cost per degree of temperature drop, while the red zone represents all technologies having a high relative cost. As shown, all considered mitigation technologies, except of the green roofs, are suitable for implementation in the Darwin CBD area.

 

 

QUEEN ELIZABETH II PARK – QUEANBEYAN RECONNECTS THE CITY TO ITS RIVERFRONT

Monday 28th, Aug 2017

CLOUSTON Associates have a long history in the planning and design of waterway projects. We’ve undertaken the planning and design of more than 40 major waterway projects across Australia.

The “Parameters for the River” was one of our earliest projects. It included a suite of guidelines for the restoration of and access to the Parramatta River and its foreshores. Authored by our founding Director Leonard Lynch for the National Trust in 1976, it’s still delivering change to the Parramatta River today.

Other landmark projects including our Todd and Charles River design in NT and the Clarence River Way masterplan in NSW.

The Queanbeyan project is the latest scheme to win praise. It was recognised at the AILA NSW Awards 2017 and was named NSW/ACT “Park of the Year” at the recent 2017 Parks and Leisure Australia Awards.

Like many riverfront cities, Queanbeyan CBD has over many years turned its back on its greatest asset – the Queanbeyan River. The Queen Elizabeth II Park and Collette Street upgrade redresses this problem. It re-connects the city with its river and establishes the river foreshore as a valuable public asset.

CLOUSTON refined the original masterplan developed for the site by Oxigen. In the process, we have transformed an underutilised riverfront into a dynamic parkland.

The newly activated waterfront provides a focus for river-based activities and events

The new parkland includes:

  • a large central lawn which overlooks the river is shaded by eucalypts
  • a long sloping lawn and terraced amphitheatre provide opportunities for visitors to view and enjoy the river
  • a large multi-use plaza provides space for community events and markets
  • interactive water features create opportunities for children to engage with water

The park helps support a healthy, inclusive and robust community by providing a river-based recreational venue.  The recent Symphony by the River was a huge success with a 500 strong crowd turning out to see the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.  The market terrace hard stand areas provide hard-wearing spaces for market stalls. Lawns, picnic shelters, BBQs and the playground facilitate gathering and social interaction. The interactive water-play park, convenient toilet facilities and playground are a key attraction for families with young children.

The new park works well with the city’s dynamic river system. Its robust design is capable of being submerged by several metres. Its soft riverfront edge also provides a platypus habitat.

Most importantly, the park re-connects the city with its beautiful river

By celebrating rather than ignoring this vital asset, the scene is set for an extended riverfront parkland network.

At the recent 2017 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) State Awards competition, the project won a Landscape Award for Parks and Open Space. The AILA judging panel commended the strong visual image of repetitive, sculptural forms beside the river that focus on an amphitheatre capable of handling large-scale events. The interactive fountain and play areas have been embraced by the community as a new recreational destination.

The practice continues to develop its work in this field and in the integration of waterfront and parkland at the Parramatta North Urban Transformation site.

For more information on CLOUSTON’s waterways capabilities, call managing Director Crosbie Lorimer on 02 8272 4999.

COOLING DARWIN – ONE ‘POP-UP’ AT A TIME!

Wednesday 9th, Aug 2017

You don’t have to have visited the Dry Tropics to know that Darwin can be a very hot city in both the wet and dry seasons. So how do you address such a big issue for the amenity of the City’s residents, visitors and business owners – and where do you start?

One step at a time is the answer.

Starting from a big picture strategy a small initial intervention helps people to understand the issues, why this matters and what could be achieved on a bigger scale.

So, for the CBD Cooling and Revitalising Pop-Up Project in the Darwin CBD two on-street car park bays on Smith Street have been temporarily transformed into a shady alfresco eating and social meeting place.

The pop-up demonstrates how a few simple elements such as trees, gardens, canopy cover and open ventilation can create cool comfortable spaces that will entice people to stop and chat on a city street.

The CLOUSTON Darwin team has been assisting the Property Council NT over the past few months with the planning, design and implementation of the pop up – a first of its kind for Darwin – and last week it was all hands-on-deck helping with construction.

The pop-up created immediate interest amongst the community with the adjoining café enjoying some brisk trade on Day 1!

The CLOUSTON team sees this as a timely initiative in promoting the important conversation about urban cooling in our cities and the ways to address the challenges of urban heat island effect – one step at a time.

 

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Picture: Hamish Stephens (centre) from CLOUSTON pictured with the ‘Pop-Up’ team and the Lord Mayor of Darwin at the opening of the CBD Cooling and Revitalising Pop-Up Project.

 

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