2012 AILA National Landscape Architecture Award: Research and Communication

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A ‘rear-view’ comparison of freeway planting designs.

A ‘rear-view’ comparison of freeway planting designs. Image: Zoë Metherell

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Mown exotic grass and occasional tree is not a biodiverse design.

Mown exotic grass and occasional tree is not a biodiverse design. Image: Zoë Metherell

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Variation in Freeway planting designs.

Variation in Freeway planting designs. Image: Zoë Metherell

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Monocultural understorey.

Monocultural understorey. Image: Zoë Metherell

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Eastern Freeway creek restoration.

Eastern Freeway creek restoration. Image: Zoë Metherell

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A comparative study of Melbourne’s freeway planting designs – implications for biodiversity conservation by Zoë Metherell

Partners: The Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology

Jury comment

This research project is an interdisciplinary partnership that sought new ways for landscape architects to meet the challenge of preserving biodiversity in the face of threats such as urbanisation, climate change and habitat loss. In Melbourne extensive planting projects are undertaken along freeways. These projects provide opportunities to improve urban biodiversity conservation on a grand scale. This research compared planting designs from seven projects representing a 40-year time span.

This project demonstrates excellence in methodology, methods (data collection and analysis) and in the writing up of final outcomes. It offers landscape architects, local and regional authorities a rigorous and cogent demonstration of how ecological analysis can be applied to landscape architectural designs, to achieve biodiversity.


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