NATURAL WAYS TO CONNECT
A connection to nature is vital to our mental and physical health, and landscape architects are ensuring this connection is made in our inner-city developments.
Verde Design Group director Chris Mahoney said there was a much more recognised need for green spaces, and it was up to landscape architects to find innovative ways to incorporate them in smaller spaces for residents. “We need to make sure we're creating spaces that will have a positive influence on their life,” he said.
Mr Mahoney said he recently read a statistic that two-thirds of the world’s population didn’t have access to green space.
“Developers are recognising that owners, especially in those high-end properties, still want access to communal or green space or natural space, and they’re starting to realise the importance of not just putting all of your plant equipment on the roof, but creating usable space and maximising that space,” he said.
“For example, putting in pools, rooftop gardens and I recently worked on a project in Kangaroo Point where we put in outdoor fire pits. People like living in apartments like they would live in their own house.
“Developers are now becoming more mindful of making sure they have an edge by offering that connection to nature.”
Mr Mahoney said green walls were a current trend. “It’s a trend that’s gaining a lot of traction. Aside from the aesthetic, it’s great for increasing air quality and for helping to absorb heat, especially in inner-city buildings,” he said.
“Any landscaping really does have a positive affect on us.”
He explained functionality was one main thing to be mindful of in a smaller-style space.
“So you might use seating that can double as storage, lighting that is functional but also pleasing to the eye, even being smart when looking at the plants, so choosing varieties that don’t need weeding or pruning. You want to minimise input but maximise output,” he said.
Verde are the landscape architects for many developments, such as New Farm's Point Luxe, plus parks, reserves and highway corridors.
There is a growing need for innovative green space in innercity living, according to landscape architect and director Chris Mahoney (right) from Verde Design Group.