Community gardens: The heart of daily life


I recently joined the Sustainable Settlements team and have been involved in developing the Stage 1 community gardens from original concept plans to a much higher level of detail. There were a lot of design parameters that needed to be met for each community garden, such as:

  • providing an exclusive use area of a particular size for each lot
  • providing a path network throughout the garden that connects into the greater path network
  • siting of an orchard area, shed and irrigation tanks
  • working with the location of the drainage basins that have been designed as part of the civil works.

It’s been a bit like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

Drainage basins run through each community garden and capture and convey all site stormwater. Planting within the basins cleanses and filters the water before it enters the dams. This water is then pumped into irrigation tanks that are used for irrigating the community garden. They also provide visual amenity and habitat and are like a green spine through each garden.

Each lot has been assigned an exclusive use area within the community garden, which will be each resident’s irrigated plot for vegetable production. These have been depicted in the drawings using a hand sketch to give you some inspiration as to how you may choose to lay out your garden. However, these spaces will be exclusively yours to design, construct and plant out, though assistance will provided if required.

A netted orchard and connected chook pen are in each community garden and provide additional food production.

The shed/community building will become the hub of each community garden and is centrally sited providing a space to store tools, run workshops, socialise and hold events. Lawn areas are to the north side of the shed, providing a physical and visual connection to the shed, while offering some shelter from southerly winds. Deciduous shade trees, a nature play space and seating walls are located within proximity of the shed.

It has been a great exercise to see how the spaces work in greater detail and the colour rendered plans are a great way to express this.