Upgrading Gaasperplaspark, ‘a design vision and time are your best tools’
- Team: Patrick Mc Cabe, David habets, Alexandra Zając-Kusiakiewicz
- Year, status: 2014, Completed
How do we to give impetus to large green areas that have been starved of investment for many years. REDscape believes in a design led approach.
Starting with the basic argument that good design is not only about resources, but how resources are applied sets the offensive to revitalise large green areas on the periphery of our cities. As designers we see that spaces need to be critically assessed on an ongoing basis.
When a large city park or green space hasn’t been critically looked at for over twenty years then it is to be expected that the central vision has become diffuse and that a park has become fragmented and degraded. Our role as designers is to reshape this central vision and synergise resources towards a single purpose. The aim is to deliver high quality, beautiful amenity spaces that reflect the new needs of users. This requirement means making clear choices and delivering clarity, based around a central idea.
For the Gaasperplaspark in Amsterdam, we have proposed transforming a city park of 169 ha based on six design principles to reshape the park. The principles are simple and can be applied simultaneously or separately. Many can be implemented in slow time and make use of shoestring investments and existing maintenance budgets to develop incremental improvements.
By slowly channeling these resources towards a single goal, degradation can be halted and real change can be achieved. The results are transformational, and can lead in turn to new dynamics and new investments. The key to all this comes back to two important factors, a design led approach ( vision) and the backing of all parties (leadership) in achieving those goals.