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Landscape - The Future of Auckland

Saturday 4 November 2000 from 2 to 4pm [Display runs Saturday and Sunday, 11am - 4 pm]

A joint project with UNITEC

"We all know the urban infrastructure problems that Auckland faces: the lack of public transport, suburban spread, issues about appropriate housing types, the limits on growth. A myriad of solutions have been advanced, but mostly in an ad hoc way.

"I am a lecturer in the landscape architecture programme at UNITEC and have recently completed a major landscape design project entitled Garden.City, which offers some strategies to deal with these problems. My project takes, as a case study, a new subdivision in the Paremuka Valley, West Auckland, to explore these issues. "

The design project proffers the idea of landscape as a concept to help us deal with complexity of problems we find in the contemporary city. Landscape implies a system of connections. We can't simply think of the city as a range old discrete objects, such as housing, motorways and sewers, they all have relationships with each other and with the existing environment.

"The building of the conventional subdivision is a good example of the relationship of these systems to each other and the problematic connection these systems make to the environment. The building of the contemporary subdivision often has deleterious effects on the local environment and degradation of specific eco zones. The construction of the subdivision also raises wider issues such as the location of subdivisions and they relationship to where people work, to existing infrastructure, such as roads, sewage, and stormwater connections.

"Garden.City explores these issues by, advancing the idea of the garden as a place in which the conditions of both the environment and the suburb can connect. A landscape process model is developed, which maps many of these wider environmental issues such as overland storm water paths and conjectured native vegetation patterns as well as site conditions and the subdivision form. The consequences of this design process are that the wider environmental issues become folded into the design of the subdivision, producing a richer more place for the people who live there.

"But my project doesn't simply stop with a planning / zonal map of the possibilities and constraints of the site. The project also develops a number of design strategies derived from gardens that develop and direct the process model. The result is a new way of thinking about the design of the suburb, the gardens and parks and infrastructure such as roads, footpaths and stormwater retention areas.

"Please join me and the panel of landscape architects Rod Barnett and Katrina Simon, architect Patrick Clifford, artist Stephen Bambury, and chair John McCormack, at 2.00pm at Artspace, 300 Karangahape Road on 4 November 2000 for a discussion of the project and its implications for Auckland."

- Matthew Bradbury.

For further information contact Robert Leonard or Sonya Korohina ph (9) 3034965; or Matthew Bradbury at Unitec ph (9) 8154321.

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