SUSTAINABLE  CANBERRA                                           australian institute of landscape architects   AILA®

Fact Sheet #9




  • Locate linear parkland within existing urban infrastructure. Aim to retrofit concrete lined drains which were once part of the natural drainage system into community park spaces.
  • Aim to link linear parkland to existing areas of moderate to high conservation value, such as nature reserves and lakes and rivers.
  • Consult with surrounding residents and local schools about their vision and concern for the site.  By consulting the community and addressing their concerns, if well considered the project, is more likely to gain approval.

Landscape Design

Water Treatment

  • Aim to restore some of the natural hydrological processes to the site – filtering nutrients and sediments and slowing down the passage of stormwater.
  • Water treatment may require a series of interventions, including reed beds, off-line, on-line wetlands, swales and dry creek beds
  • Maximise site permeability. This will also assist the local catchment by reducing peak flows and nutrients entering local creeks and drains.

Landscape Materials

  • Incorporate sustainable landscape materials wherever possible.  This will reduce the ecological footprint of the project.  Ensure materials are used which encourage water permeability.

Site Ecology

  • Aim to restore original plant communities to the site, including wetland, grassland (grasses, lilies, orchids, peas) and woodland species.
  • Choose plants sourced from local seed stock (within 10km radius) where possible


  • Ensure provision of wheelchair and stroller accessible pathways throughout the development. 
  • Create primary and secondary pathways with different scale and experiences
  • Ensure pathways are adequately lit for safe night time use


  • Provide adequate spaces for seating both formal and informal within the parkland.  Formal seating may include fixed outdoor furniture whilst informal seating may include large rocks and seating height walls.


  • Ensure well placed interpretive signage is used throughout the parkland


  • Engage local artists to provide site appropriate artwork for the site


  • Involve Waterwatch and local residents in watering quality monitoring. Monitor for the presence of frog species – a good environmental indicator and invetebrates.  Involve ornithologist groups in recording bird presence before and after the development of the parkland.


  • Encourage community maintenance and monitoring of the site
  • Ensure funding set aside for well considered landscape maintenance plan plus ongoing costs for regular maintenance.

Communal Spaces

  • Set aside communal gathering space to hold community events which will help foster community spirit and ownership of the park.

Environmental Program

  • Establish an environmental program with local schools to use the site to enhance understanding and stewardship of the local environment.

Planning for climate change

  • Ensure the parkland will be shaded by appropriately selected trees, which will provide shade.  The majority of plants selected need to be able to cope with a hotter and drier climate and no additional watering beyond the establishment phase.

Linear Park Case Studies


Windsor St Linear Parkland, Adelaide



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