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Productive Parks

Wythenshawe Park

Wythenshawe Park Design

Site: Wythenshawe Park, Manchester, UK

Client: Manchester City – Wythenshawe Regeneration Trust

Project: Scenario Analysis Research (2010-2012)

Public parks are valuable spaces which have been suffering from reduced funding for many decades. Using a systems-design, productive methodology, parks can be structured to generate their own finance while increasing visitor opportunities and experience. Functional design can be applied to parks to achieve multiple but interrelated goals such as:

  • A low carbon maintenance landscape

  • Productivity in terms of food and material resources in addition to beauty and recreational value

  • Increased and improved bio- and ecodiversity

  • Local relevance, social meaning and job opportunities

Wythenshawe Park is a remnant of an old medieval estate, now a much-loved but underresourced island in the middle of the expanding city of Manchester. This scenario analysis looks at how the park could be designed to generate more income through the proposed farm shop, enabling the wish of the small city farm based in the park to farm on a slightly larger scale and provide more products.

The design shows how public amenity land can be adapted to stack functions, providing the present recreational activities, while creating additional spaces and yields that can be monetised, allowing parks to become more self-sufficient.

For Wythenshawe Park this meant:

  • redesigning all areas to provide complimentary multiple functions and integrate productive systems

  • using the historical shapes of the estate landscape to hold identity and visitor recognition

  • researching and reflecting successful productive use going back to Medieval times

  • developing productive and aesthetic uses for existing landscape elements previously seen as a problem such as a stream, and a waterlogged field

 

A1 Park Design masterplan30-06-2011.ai

Grassland maintenance plan reduced mowing, increased bio- and ecodiversity through flowering hay meadows, produced more for the proposed farm shop and provided a more varied visitor experience.

A1 Park - eastern field ROTATION & PATHS

Integrating rotational grazing area for grass and livestock health within the park via new hedging and viewing gates which create enjoyable visitor walks.

park-field system

New view of the visitor experience, flowering hay meadows and hedged walkways around the rotaional grazing fields.

Park - FF north-Easter edge2

Food forest walkways around the park make a richer, more biodiverse environment with educational and recreational opportunities.

park-proposed view to hall-BLURRED TREES

New vistas of the old estate house are created which have designed-in more opportunities for hay meadows and a countryside feel in the heart of a built-up area.

 

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