Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies offers an annual award for newly published research or thinking that has been recognized to be outstanding by members of the Spaces and Flows Research Network.
In February 2011, Christchurch in New Zealand suffered a series of devastating earthquakes which killed 185 people and transformed the city centre into a wasteland. Such disasters test the physical structure and social cohesion of communities; post-disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts must therefore re-establish and nurture social well-being, as well as reconstructing the built environment. We discuss how the action of “greening” for environmental transformation in post-disaster landscapes can play a significant role in rebuilding social capital and how community-based organisations responded to the disaster by re-injecting life and culture into the city through temporary installations and “greening” projects. Landscape architects were involved in large and complex urban earthquake-recovery projects but also contributed to or led many smaller-scale greening projects. We suggest that the landscape architect’s role in a post-disaster scenario is as important at the community facilitation level as it is in contributing to larger-scale infrastructure redevelopment.
Kate is a Design Associate at a landscape architecture practice, Exterior Architecture in London, U.K. Having completed her studies in Christchurch, New Zealand during the earthquake recovery period, she brings many of the lessons learned in this high intensity environment to her projects in the U.K. While the pressure cooker environment of a post-disaster situation accelerates the need to build, many of the values uncovered during that process can be drawn on and incorporated in a rapidly evolving urban environment. A key value is the power of temporary landscape installations to breathe and bring a sense of life. Involving the community throughout the development process, from concept, to implementation and management of landscapes produces more sustainable and robust design outcomes. Retaining this balance between nature and culture, particularly during potentially lengthy construction periods provides a platform for knowledge sharing and produces a greater connection between the community and the natural world.
Mike has recently retired from his full-time position at Lincoln University, but continues working in landscape education through his role as the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Delegate to the International Federation of Landscape Architect's World Council.
— Kate Blackburne and Mike Barthelmeh
Vanessa Mooney, Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.37–45
Nick Dunn, Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.67–75
Rebecca Katkin, Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.61–70
Nick Dunn, Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.87–96