Resilient infrastructure: Redefined
The abundance of natural environments within New Zealand is under threat, and unhindered profit-driven development is ever increasing, putting our landscapes at risk. A weak relationship with our land is currently resulting in detrimental development. In particular, designed infrastructure is often imposed on the landscape with little consideration for the effects it has on wider ecological systems. The degradation of our natural environment is spiralling out of control, landscape architecture has the potential to protect and enhance our natural environment through integrated design that benefits our natural systems and the people who exist within them. This research aims to mitigate the adverse effects development has on the landscape through the use of naturally integrated water treatment infrastructure design. The cleansing abilities of natural wetlands are currently overlooked as precedents for design. An opportunity lies within the integration of natural wetlands and infrastructure, the outcome being new multipurpose landscapes. The fusion of water infrastructure and natural systems has the potential to not only mitigate adverse effects of current development, but also provide the public with diverse open spaces that support recreation and natural amenity. Wairarapa Moana in the South Wairarapa is the site for this design research to take place. The abundance of public open spaces surrounding Lake Waiararapa, paired with the severe degradation of the water quality provide an opportunity for design research to explore possible solutions. The intention of this work is to diminish the harmful effects of development and poor land use in the area, resulting in the creation of natural spaces that have an underlying function of water treatment and fitting seamlessly into the wider ecological systems of the site. The space will also cater for various recreational activities, providing the South Wairarapa with a new typology of landscape that is resilient and responsive to the natural flux of this unique lake system.