Outdoor parks give city-dwellers an opportunity to spend time in nature and help to mitigate the urban heat island effect and pollution from vehicles and industry.
However, land tends to be in short supply in urban areas, which has led to the growth of elevated outdoor parks.
How people use elevated parks
Elevated outdoor parks are green spaces that are built above ground, often overhead. They are also sometimes known as sky parks or sky gardens.
An example is The High Line in New York, which was built on an elevated disused elevated railway line.
A survey study shows that people use elevated parks to access local landscapes, for physical exercise, and for social activities such as picnics. Users also reported enjoying the views, public art installations (where relevant), and being in nature.
People are also more inclined to use outdoor parks when they feel safe to do so. This makes robust safety barriers on elevated parks crucial – such as at The High Line which has barriers made from Jakob Webnet mesh.
Webnet can be an excellent choice of material for elevated parks due to its robustness and longevity, compliance with safety codes, and low maintenance requirements. In addition, Webnet has an open area of around 90% and a lightweight translucent appearance, which allows for views of surrounding cityscapes.
Outdoor parks for workers
Outdoor parks can provide specific benefits to workers. These include improved concentration, creativity and wellbeing, and reduced stress and absenteeism.
However, office and other indoor work is often a major barrier to spending time outdoors. Big workplaces such as Google and Microsoft have overcome this to some degree by installing garden spaces for their employees.
Another option is to create an elevated park space for the workplace, such as the Melbourne Quarter SkyPark in the city’s Docklands precinct. This is a stunning outdoor park, situated 10m above ground and accessible via a lift or spiral stairs. It can be used by city workers and members of the public alike.
The park was designed to provide a restful outdoor environment and includes lawn areas, seating, meeting pod and a perimeter walkway. It has been planted with numerous native species including wattles, banksias, groundcovers, and shrubs.
A Webnet mesh screen made from 50mm x 2mm stainless steel mesh and rated for large crowd loads surrounds the park’s perimeter. The screen acts as a safety barrier while also doubling up as a trellis support for climbing plants such as bower vine and wisteria. This creates a vertical garden effect that provides dappled light, shade, and views across parts of the city.
Elevated parks such as the Melbourne SkyPark demonstrate how it’s possible to create beautiful outdoor green spaces in built-up areas.
It also shows how the use of robust transparent barrier materials such as Webnet can provide the necessary fall protection and simultaneously be used to enhance the garden.
Do you have an outdoor park project idea that needs a safety barrier that is robust yet elegant? Give us a call!