Designing the twenty-first century urban park: design strategies for a warming climate

  • YEAR
    Walliss, Jillian
    Rahmann, Heike
    2015 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Environment and Landscape Architecture


With 2014 considered the hottest year on record, the implication of climate change on the liveability of cities is becoming ever more apparent. Accordingly, the role of open space is emerging as a pressing issue, with clients increasingly demanding evidence of design performance. In 2011 for example the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation in collaboration with the Design Trust for Public Space released High Performance Landscape Guidelines: 21st Century Parks for NYC. As Deborah Marton the former Director of the Design Trust comments, this type of document reflects a major shift in the conception of open space, ‘from park as end-product to park as work in progress ’(Carlisle and Pevzner 2012). This paper explores how two contemporary designs for open space in Asian cities have engaged with environmental simulation to increase the performative attributes of open space. Through the comparison of Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay and Taiwan’s Phase Shifts Park we highlight the different philosophies and technical challenges presented in these ambitious designs and conclude with a wider reflection on the technological manipulation of natural phenomena.


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