From a site razed by bushfires to a renowned tourist attraction, few parks in Australia have grown as rapidly as the National Arboretum Canberra.
It has been recognised as one of the countries most transformative parks and will be included among 12 other landmarks at the National Museum of Australia’s Parks Changing Australia exhibition.
A national jury selected 13 Australian projects based on their ability to promote social, environmental, health and economic changes within their communities.
Landscape architect and panel judge Angus Bruce said the National Arboretum was a perfect fit for the brief.
“The arboretum is a project on a massive scale, but it has its rooms and experiences within the project that showcase the diversity in what we deliver as landscape architects,” he said.
Designed by TCL Landscape Architect and Tonkin Zulaika Greer Architects, the National Arboretum includes 100 single-species forests.
TCL Landscape Architects director Perry Lethlean said sustainability and biodiversity were key drivers of the project.
“The arboretum aims to redefine the meaning of a public garden in the 21st century,” Mr Lethlain said.
“It is a strategy, a program and an ongoing event, rather than a design based chiefly on aesthetics.”
Australian Institute of Landscape Architects chief executive Shahana McKenzie said the nation’s parks have rapidly evolved in recent years.
“Public projects have become more than just some nice greenery, a bench or generic playground,” Ms McKenzie said.
“This revelation means open spaces take on a greater meaning. For example, they can be a place where the modern and past co-exist, a place where they can offer deep and significant cultural recognition, while respecting the values of people from all walks of life.
“And many of our parks, through transformative design, are making an amazing contribution to the local ecosystem – by simply being there.”
The exhibition will coincide with the institute’s 50th anniversary and the 2016 International Festival of Landscape Architecture.
The panel also compiled a list of the top 10 parks in each Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
They will be featured at five smaller exhibits at Virgin Australia lounges across the country.
NewActon Precinct, Tidbinbilla’s Sanctuary, Stromlo Forest Park and the Belconnen Skate Park were among the 10 Canberra parks to make the cut.
The 10 parks changing Canberra
Australian Garden, National Gallery of Australia
Reconciliation Place and Commonwealth Place
The Sanctuary, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Dickson and Lyneham Wetlands
Canberra Centenary Trail
Stromlo Forest Park
Eastern Valley Way Inlet Wetlands and Belconnen Skate Park
Lake Burley Griffin Parklands