Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Emergence of Collective Dreams: An Exploration of Community Development Based Collaborative Landscape Design

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posted on 2021-11-13, 10:22 authored by Barrie, Charles William

This thesis explores the nature of a landscape design process that could ensure the resilience and sustainability of suburban public space. Utilising a literature review and two large case study projects, the research presents an argument that: • public landscapes must be seen as multi-dimensional complex systems emerging from the co-evolution of different players in the landscape community with the dynamics of their wider ecosystem; and • the sustainable design of these spaces is dependent on collaborative decision-making, the engagement and empowerment of the local community, and the restoration of ongoing responsive interaction with the site.  This approach is referred to as 'deep landscape design' and is expanded through the presentation of a number of guiding principles which it is hoped will support designers, council staff and community leaders to implement it. These guiding principles describe a facilitated, nested and iterative model of design in which: • the physical, ecological and cultural dimensions of landscape can be integrated holistically; • multiple engagement methods are established enabling the inclusion of a large range of community partners; and  • those engaged in the design of the space are able to reflect on the impacts of their decisions and make changes accordingly.  The research suggests that through the inclusion of deep design principles, small projects with a specific focus can initiate a process of increasing community knowledge, skill, and ownership in the design and maintenance of landscapes. A process which is necessary for the sustainability and resilience of public spaces.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Design

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design


Vale, Brenda