Revitalization present era. New design techniques are adopted

Revitalization
of abandoned or derelict land has become a major topic of consideration in the
present era. New design techniques are adopted to transform brown field or
derelict areas into recreational areas, parks or as a green space . These
abandoned spaces serve as a multi-functional space , it not only provides space
for public activity but also enhances the environmental value of that area by
increasing interaction between man and nature within the urban city.

Derelict
land can be defined as any neglected or abandoned land which was previously
being used but gradually has been destroyed due to industrial or other
development on that site. The US Environmental  Protection Agency defines brownfields as
“abandoned ,idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities
where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived
environmental contamination”. In the present scenario , landscape
architects are paying a lot of attention on the redevelopment of neglected or
derelict area into urban public space for sustainable development and to
improve the quality of life in the urban areas. Their main focus is to evaluate
the design policies that will transform and reclaim derelict spaces  to create a relationship between natural and
built environment.  

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Overpopulation
and industrialization in a developing country like India are the core reason
for the unplanned growth of  cities and
lack of proper infrastructure. According to Architect PK Das ,the need to prepare development plans with open spaces expansion
as  the basis of planning for Indian
cities and towns because of worsening conditions of our urban life. About
20.16% of the total geographical area of the country is occupied by degraded
land. As the cities are developing in the country , open spaces are reducing. Increase
in population has led to the shrinkage of green urban spaces which not only
serves as a recreational activity zone but also become the lungs of the
polluted urban areas. As there are no proper space left for the development of
open spaces so the places that are derelict or abandoned can be regenerated and
transformed into gardens, parks and for other public activity.

There are already many projects designed
by prominent architects and landscape architects that are based on the
reclamation of neglected land in the city. Thus, the aim of this report is to analyze
the design strategies of such projects and to find out ways how to incorporate
such design ideas in a densely populated country like India . The two major
projects are the High line , New York, The gas works, Seattle and the Landscape
Park Duisburg Nord in Duisburg, Germany, the design of which are adopted to plan interesting public spaces and also to minimize
the harmful effect on the environment by creating harmony between man and
nature.

 

High Line , New York (designed by

The high line was an industrial railroad
which later was transformed into a public park. It is located on a raised
platform and the entire site moves through the buildings in an undulating
pattern. The planning of the project is carried out in such a way that it
provides connection with nature within the urban fabric. It has become a place
where people are able to stroll ,relax and interact with nature , the
meandering pattern of paving create a sense of interest while walking through
the site.

Custom concrete pavers, a paving system
that supports natural growth of plants,  stainless steel elements, benches ,water
features and exhibition spaces provide visitors ,pockets to socialize. The
rusted train rails are retained to offer the glimpse of the past and the basic
character of that place.  Energy
efficient LED lights are used all along the walkway of the project , making it
an interesting place even during night.

The planting basically consist of native,
perennial plants and the overall planting design is planned in such a way that
it is not only related to the history of the site but also provides a language
to the site in connection with the present surroundings. Random arrangement of
native wildflowers, shrubs and weed like groundcovers represent the urban
landscape of the floating park.

Simply strolling through the high line
people can not only connect with nature and relax but also can enjoy the urban
fabric of the city.

Landschaftspark
Duisburg Nord—Duisburg, Germany (designed by Latz+ Partners)

The site was
an  industrial steel mill earlier,
located in the densely populated part of the city, which is the later
transformed into a urban park . The design pattern of this site is staggered
and not clearly arranged  as the remnants
of the steel plant is kept intact creating landmarks within the site. The new
design of the site was incorporating the  existing industrial structures  in such a way that it was only was able to
represent the history of the place but also created a new type of landscape
design that attract many visitors every year.

All the
spaces designed within the site are interconnected. The central blast furnace
with raised platforms ,rock gardens, a huge plaza which serves as a central
gathering space ,the plaza is mainly enclosed by recycled iron plates placed in
a square The material and elements used are the a railroad park with a sequential
pattern of old rail- beds ,footbridges, promenade and water park located at the
lower level of the park. The paving material is generally recycled concrete and
the remnants from the demolished structures were used in planting substrates.
Most important part of the project is the transformation of the river Emscher
which runs through the site. Earlier ,it was just an open sewage but later the
river was used for rainwater management , to collect surface runoff and
rainwater. To make the water accessible to public ,raised platforms were
created for people to connect with river . All the landmarks are illuminated at
night , making it an attractive place for the visitors.

Pioneer
plant species ,grouping of trees in the form of woodland and prairie meadows
are arranged between the various linear elements on the site. Later a mix was
created with all the native and exotic species , around 450 new types of plants
,which at present are in their early stage of growth.