Salisbury is in a period of rapid economic growth and cultural change, and is fast becoming a vibrant hub. It is also home to a diverse and proud community. The City of Salisbury recognises the importance of the often distinctive landscapes and public open spaces and with HASSELL has developed a robust and visionary set of policies and guidelines for the future development of the city’s landscapes. The document is known as the City Landscape Plan.
The City Landscape Plan covers all the city’s external spaces, including streetscapes, plazas, meeting spaces, soft landscape areas, road corridors, reserves and open spaces, amenity landscapes, areas of cultural and environmental significance, industrial and residential developments. As a policy document the City Landscape Plan proposes a cohesive direction for existing and future development of the City of Salisbury’s landscapes, providing a clear set of guidelines to strengthen the city’s unique physical characteristics, underpinned by the key principles of promoting biodiversity and sustainability, water sensitive urban design, crime prevention through environmental design, and context-based landscape design principles. To enable specific and site-based guidelines, the City Landscape Plan identifies four main landscape character zones. These have been developed according to extensive analysis of climatic and soil data, physiography, and pre-European plant communities. The four zones are: the Coastal Plain; the Lower Alluvial Plain; the Upper Alluvial Plain; and Riparian (or river and creek) Corridors.
Dividing the city into these different zones assists in identifying the specific requirements for plant selection, strengthening biodiversity, promoting sustainability and providing the strategic direction for the “look and feel” of the City for each zone. Planting design and selection are proposed to be based on sound design and environmental parameters, prevailing soil conditions and other climatic factors, and pre-European plant species associations. The process of using a comprehensive analytical approach aims to increase the establishment and success of the city’s landscapes whilst also reducing recurrent maintenance and water use.
In higher profile areas, the landscape function is the core parameter that directs the selection of public domain elements which includes plant selection, paving materials, furniture selection and other features. Consideration of material selection is given to road hierarchies, reserve function, areas of cultural and historical significance, focal points and gateways. The plan’s guidelines for public domain elements will set down a consistent palette of treatments to create continuity and legibility throughout the city.
The City Landscape Plan is intended to be a dynamic and evolving document, continuously reviewed, improved and updated to keep abreast of innovations in urban design, landscape architecture and civil engineering design, planning, and asset management whilst also acknowledging the future environmental challenges of climate change.
The award winning City of Salisbury Landscape Plan is about creating Salisbury as a unique and sustainable City, through the creation of elements that identify the City, have visual appeal, amenity value and promotes community pride. It successfully and succinctly provides the framework for a consistent approach to the development and upgrade of Council’s natural assets (open space) into the future for both Council’s residents and developers. The key aim of the document was to build upon current landscape strengths, identify short and long-term weaknesses with the existing landscape, and develop strategies for renewal of these existing landscapes and the enhancement of key high profile areas within the City.
It also provides a tool to develop a landscape that provides consistency, is practical and functional as well as being cohesive with the City’s existing landscape elements, and to preserve bio-diversity by the use of predominately indigenous plantings that complement existing vegetation associations.