The Long Bay development involves the urbanisation of a large-scale landholding in a sensitive natural environment. Landscape architecture and ecology formed the basis of a master planning approach which aimed to strike the right balance between efficient use of land, and enhancement of the natural environment.
Boffa Miskell was engaged by Todd Property Group in 2008 as part of the master planning team for the project: providing landscape design and ecological advice; and later, leading the development of designs for the public landscapes of the over twenty stages of the development. This included the design detailing, documentation and contract management for planting implementation in streets, walkways, wetlands, riparian margins and revegetation; in addition to developing weed and pest management for landscape protection areas.
“Our ecology consultants undertook extensive research on stream habitat and quality, lizard relocation and habitat creation, and provided input to ensure that Todd Property’s overarching goals of ecology and sustainability were a constant design driver,” says Eddie.
“The landscape design strongly integrates ecologically with the natural gully, stream and coastal environs through extensive planting,” says Emma.
Plant selection respects the natural coastal character and greatly enhances the biodiversity of the area. Species selection was carefully considered to ensure natural regeneration occurs through all revegetation areas. Riparian planting mimics the natural ecosystems found within lower, mid and upper reaches with species selection carefully situated to reflect the subtle changes in the environment or function.
The key ecological outcomes gained as a result of the extensive riparian and revegetation planting include improved indigenous terrestrial vegetation cover, with improved connectivity and ecological functionality; increased quality of freshwater habitats as a result of riparian revegetation; and long-term protection and management of indigenous vegetation and selected open grassland habitats occurring within the site.
“These outcomes have enhanced key ecological functions within the Long Bay development area,” says Eddie. “Streams that previously had no riparian planting, or were damaged, are now benefiting; with thriving numbers of native fish, including the banded kokopu.”
“The overall goal of the project was to provide an integrated urban form, ecological framework and landscape framework that demonstrates on a large scale how a ‘green infrastructure’ can be layered throughout a new urban development,” says Emma.
“A huge benefit of multi-disciplinary practice is the opportunity for design and ecology consultants to work side-by-side towards these mutual goals. This has been successfully achieved, and Long Bay has been used as a design exemplar in the Auckland Design Manual and Code of Practice, and has been short-listed for an NZILA Award.”
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19 June 2019