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Environment

2010 Urban Design Winner – Marsden Park Phase One

Sponsored by Ian Smith Jack Architects

Commencing with a thorough analysis of landform and ecology, the Marsden Park development is notable for its sensitive fit within a beautiful natural valley green surrounded by green hills, its central focus is established by the meandering Poormans Valley Stream, which is given a generous Esplanade Reserve with planting and a pathway winding attractively along the bank.

Supplementing this spacious reserve is an additional pocket park, which is flanked by landscaped walkways which provide transverse links connecting the community with the Esplanade Park. The reserves act as wild life corridors to encourage biodiversity. Gently sloping land allows a roading pattern to fit unobtrusively to the contour, softened by landscaped berms. Road formation is reduced in width to suit the anticipated amenity of the area, and given attractive exposed aggregate footpaths and planted swales.

Individual building lots are well shaped with sufficient width to permit the orientation of house to suit northern sun and views, and may will overlook public spaces. Design controls have been imposed by covenant as an assurance that houses will be in sympathy with the development concept. There is an emphasis on low impact stormwater, with each lot required to control stormwater discharge through a holding tank dispersing into the roadside swales.

Elegant street lighting is simply designed to eliminate upward light spill. Ultimately it is proposed by the developer that Marsden Park will grow into a village including a commercial centre conceived to encourage small scale enterprises, which may serve or be associated with the residents of the valley. This, together with some proposed planned higher density residential development will encourage a range of activities and provide lifestyle choices for residents, hopefully promoting a strong sense of community.

While the Urban Design Award is given for phase One (130 lots) of Marsden Park, this wider vision is also supported and commended. A committed professional approach from a visionary developer and a skilled team of consultants has resulted in the first stage of a large but will contained residential development which sets high standards in urban design.

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