Can Landscape Design Truly Affect the Way Our Children Learn

Top Emerging Trends

With the aforementioned factors in mind, what are some of the trends that schools can look to integrate into their plans?

  • Kitchen garden schemes - Kitchen Garden Schools commit to a dynamic and innovative model that sees kitchen and garden classes run weekly, enabling skills-based learning that extends across the entire school curriculum. The diversity of locations of Kitchen Garden Schools - from Coober Pedy in the outback, to Alawa in the tropics, to beachside Bondi - means that each school community has its own designs, challenges and successes.
  • Introduction of natural elements in school grounds - e.g. wetlands, woodlands etc. These are of environmental benefit but their true value emerges only through their integration into the school’s overall educational program.
  • Wireless technology - With portable devices that can free a wider range of spaces for learning, extending beyond the physical building into the surrounding landscape.
  • Discovery Gardens - Children value unmanicured places and the adventure and mystery of hiding places and wild, spacious, uneven areas broken by clusters of plants.
  • Play pods - Play for Life Australia has conducted trials of the pods started in Britain and the United States five years ago and has found their use to improve kids’ decision-making skills, create more inclusive playgrounds and reduce playground incidents.
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March 7, 2012

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Your take on New Urbanism
Like most movements, New Urbanism developed out of a need for change. In this case it was a growing concern about the way our cities, in particular our sprawling suburbs, were developing. These concerns were valid 20 years ago when new urbanism got going, and unfortunately are still pretty valid and relevant today.

New urbanism was first known as 'Neo-traditional' planning. I think this remains its greatest criticism in that it tends to hark back to the good old days and instead of stopping at simply adopting good planning principles from that time, it sometimes goes too far and promotes neo-traditional architecture as well. As a movement, it then comes under fire because it is seen as being more about aesthetics rather than fundamental design principles.

The principles of New Urbanism certainly have a place in our suburban landscape. However it is imperative that as designers we ensure site responsive and contextually appropriate solutions. We should insist that development reflects a local vernacular and looks to the future, not just the past.

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  • Reply Landscaper Brisbane Landscaper Brisbane March 3, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Yeah, you are right I think landscape are the best for our children to learn some thing more.

  • Reply Berneche2 Architecture Berneche2 Architecture March 3, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Excellent article. Here in the States, probably there too, fear of lawsuits renders playground design to where the gate might as well bear a sign reading " sanitized for your/our protection.".

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