The potential of ecologically enhanced urban parks to encourage and catalyze densification in greyfield suburbs

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© 2014 European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools. This paper explores the potential of a strategy for achieving infill development in Australian greyfield suburbs in which redesigned, ecologically enhanced urban parks, in areas with reasonable access to public transport, are employed to encourage, catalyze, and ultimately support, residential densification. This process involves the upzoning of a walkable catchment of selected greyfield urban parks to higher residential densities than the market is currently delivering. To encourage this upzoning in the local community, local parks are redesigned using an ecological-oriented approach that seeks to enhance both their ecological and social values. The parks redesign is likely to lead to an increase in land values, which, in turn, is anticipated to catalyze redevelopment. In combination with increased zoning densities, this strategy is hypothesized to lead to greater densification. It is proposed that, as the densification occurs, a needs-based assessment is conducted to determine the park equipment required by the increased park catchment population. The potential of this process is explored in an illustrative planning exercise in the local government area of Bayswater (Perth, Western Australia), which has significant infill targets and a large amount of sports field-dominated parkland. The paper concludes by arguing that a strategy of densification around public open space could potentially aid in greyfield suburbs achieving their infill targets, as well as lead to improved social and ecological outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-65
JournalJournal of Landscape Architecture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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