Typical Design Issues Print

Design Outcome

Some of the typical issues that arise in civic space environments include:

  • Lack of understanding about the effects of climate changeand the lack of predictive planning for natural disasters (flooding, etc.)
  • Changes in hydrological responses, e.g. time of peak flows crossing the sites, volumes and top water levels, pollution of aquifers and prevention of recharging of aquifers
  • Subdivision and development plans which take a scorched earth approach rather than seeing remnant forest and water features as assets that enhance the attractiveness and economic value of a site
  • Insufficient funding to eradicate weed and pest species.​


  • Lack of understanding of ecological values and the impact of activity and development on ecological resources
      • Map and analyse the flora and fauna on site, review the flora and fauna of the surrounding area and identify possible linksInvestigate the ecological history of the site, and talk to local residents or parks staff who have been involved with the park
      • Investigate the ecological history of the site, and talk to local residents or parks staff who have been involved with the park
  • Lack of understanding about indigenous ecosystems and the need to maintain connections for ecological function
      • Review the site in its context and, if possible, engage an ecologist to gain an understanding of the existing ecosystemsInvestigate the ecological history of the site, and talk to local residents or parks staff who have been involved with the park
  • Destructive impacts on indigenous biodiversity including fragmentation of habitats and populations, reduction in habitat size and extent, loss of buffering, extinction of threatened or protected species, consequential effects of species loss on whole ecosystems, cumulative effects from use and development, edge effects, loss of genetic diversity and loss of viability.
  • The spread of pests (both plant and animal) harms indigenous biodiversity and ecosystems; causing local extinction of some species
      • Identify the pests in the area and understand the damage they are having on plants or animals on site. Inform the local community of the potential threats and their effects, and inform people how they can work with the council and community to prevent further spread.
      • Information could be shared with the community through collaborative workshops, planting days or signage panels in busy community areas.
  • Development and intensification in surrounding areas causes disconnection and fragmentation of ecosystems, creating problems with stormwater systems, and pollution of waterways.  
      • Development and intensification can positively benefit communities and the environments if completed well. Development can provide funding to manage surrounding environments and intensification can prevent sprawl, and retain areas of unique and important environments.
      • P​rior to any development an assessment of the site’s water systems, existing vegetation and ecologies should be made. This should include the health of these systems as well as their location. It is not easy to successfully relocate ecological systems and water ways, therefore they are best managed in their existing location. Development should be based around these existing features.

Better Design Practice

Rules of Thumb

Provide Feedback Next Page   Previous Page