Our Sunshine Coast communities are embedded in the natural landscape. Our waterways, vegetation and landforms weave in and around our centres, towns, neighbourhoods and the streets connecting our homes. The landscape separates places, frames our villages and towns and contributes to our sense of identity, enjoyment and individuality. Mountains, vegetated ridge lines and significant stands of vegetation provide a green frame. Creeks, waterways and the ocean provide a blue frame.
Our relationship with the landscape is a reason why many of our towns and centres feel like they blend with the natural environment. it is a distinguishing characteristic of the Sunshine Coast.
Good Sunshine Coast design considers our landscape character, which underpins the identity and experience of Sunshine Coast places. It allows us to stay connected with the natural environment. This relationship contributes to our wellbeing and sense of self. Good design on the Sunshine Coast considers space for new vegetation and where appropriate, retains existing vegetation. It shows off the landscape and protects the environment and its biodiversity, and a sense of wellbeing for our residents.
Why this is important
Design that does not incorporate the landscapes could lead to the erosion of our connection with the natural environment over time. If tree and vegetation cover is reduced, there would be little shade, buildings would not be screened or softened, the rich mosiac of individual villages could result in one sprawling suburb. Landscape offers a sense of belonging, biodiversity, visitor appeal.
Ideas for working with this principle
Whatever scale you're working at–city, neighbourhood, street, park or building, here are some ideas for working with this principle.
1. Conduct an assessment of the local landscape character to establish a thorough understanding of an area's distinctive ecological qualities. This knowledge can be used in development contextually appropriate landscapes and design strategies at the project planning stage.
2. Work with existing topography to minimise cut and fill and protect the existing landforms and waterways.
3. When planning developments, consider retaining and building with and around the established landscape features, trees and vegetation. Retaining and enhancing existing landscape and trees will provide the local area with character that contributes to the natural biodiversity of the area, and maintains and reinforces the important green and blue frames that weave in and around our centres, towns and neighbourhoods.
4. When retaining existing trees and vegetation, ensure adequate space is maintained so trees stay healthy.
5. When designing new places, consider appropriate spaces for trees, gardens and landscaping, including areas of deep soil planting for root growth, so that trees and gardens can flourish in proximity to buildings or infrastructure in the future.
6. Consider providing new planting next to areas of existing planting on adjoining sites. This ensures individual areas of new planting contribute to the creation of substantial areas of vegetation and to the dominance of landscape in our neighbourhoods.