North West Sydney’s Hills Showgrounds Station is in bloom, thanks to Sydney Metro, Hassell, and the University of Melbourne.
Commuters, residents and visitors are noticing a vibrant, new and diverse array of colourful flowering plants across the station plaza.
The station is buzzing with people and pollinators.
As well as brightening the suburban sphere, the installation of 8,000 plants – over 110 species – represents a watershed boost to local urban biodiversity.
Providing beautiful, biodiverse, floral landscapes has been shown to generate positive physical and mental health benefits, and this has the potential to be replicated in other public landscapes across Sydney.
Biodiversity loss is a pressing issue in contemporary cities.
Sydney Metro said its team was looking forward to hearing views on the plants and this landscape as it grows, flowers and brings both people and pollinators to Hills Showground Station in 2022 and beyond.
Access to beautiful, bio-diverse, floral landscapes has shown generated positive physical and mental health benefits.
Hassell’s landscape architects are responding to the urgent need to re-assess the art and practice of planting design and revitalise their approach to urban planning schemes in light of sustainability and creating resilient, regenerative environments.
Currently, there is a lack of specification of a wide variety of species in the Australian nursery industry which leads to a limited range being mass-produced.
Furthermore, when it comes to planting, landscape architecture education is still limited, and industry maintenance and construction methods have not changed in decades.
Protecting and adding to biodiversity should be an essential priority in urban environments, especially in areas where little natural habitat remains.
Studies have shown that the most significant biodiversity occurs in the ground and shrub layers of vegetation, as opposed to either lawns or the tree canopy above.
The big question is: how can one design enough biodiverse planting in urban spaces?
By spearheading these Planting Trials, Hassell and its collaborators are determined to push the boundaries for planting design in urban environments by supporting the need for diversity and layering of plants and species – especially beneath the tree canopy.
Continuing and expanding such an initiative helps to combat global biodiversity losses, reduces the heat-island issues prevalent in cities, and nurtures natural environments in urban spaces.
The Planting Trials move beyond merely sustainable landscapes to produce restorative and regenerative environments.