Upcycle Park: “Converting Waste into Want” | July 2021
TOWNLAND is proud to share some recent work on a landscape design proposal to transform a little used utility space in Jakarta’s City Center, into an active, dynamic, and creative urban park. In addition to improving the quality of the environment, the design aims to provide both a calm and attractive urban space where the community can actively participate, enjoy interactive features and increase their environmental awareness.
Located in a dense area of Jakarta, yet still somewhat isolated in location, the 15,000sqm Site is currently used as a temporary waste collection point and trucking pool. In addition to the negative connotation of its current use, the site also has a negative appeal due to its proximity to existing cemeteries, as well as the neighboring existing ‘kampung’ – dense urban settlements of low quality housing. On the other hand, through the diverse and large population base of exactly those nearby dense settlements, as well as nearby schools and apartments, the Site has the potential to reach a large and diverse community and become an “Urban Park for All”. Inspired by the Site’s location and context, its current use and the lack of awareness of recycling possibilities and general environmental awareness in lower socio-economic segments of the Indonesian population, TOWNLAND’s plan proposes to convert the weaknesses of the Site into values through the establishment of an “Upcycle Park – Converting Waste into Want”, which aims to attract people into an educative, active, and vibrant public space.
Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose
To ‘Upcycle’ is a way to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. This concept is applied throughout the development of the future Public Park– from the re-purposing of the space from a literal dump to a quality urban space (uplifting the real and perceived value of the Site and its context), through to the application of hardscape materials, art features, signage as well as softscape selection.
Through the use of upcycled objects and materials – and designing these as attractive features or artworks – the proposed Park incorporates educational elements to promote sustainability and raise awareness of waste management issues. Some of activity spaces or facilities featured in this Park include a Trivia Maze Garden, a Thematic Cat-paw Playground, a Multipurpose Court (using upcycled materials for soft flooring), a Multifunction Pavilion and a Retention Pond using Water Sensitive Urban Design and riparian plant selection to ensure the surface water run-off is filtered and cleaned before it is discharged to the existing stream nearby. Of course, the plan also thoughtfully implements ‘new normal’ design principles into the overall landscape design ensuring sufficient social distancing is possible.
Stray Cats into the Mix
The Up-Cycle concept was further incorporated in the proposal to deal with the increasing problem of stray cats in Jakarta. The plan allocates the aforementioned thematic Cat-paw Playground, as well as a ‘Cat-island’, while small kiosks and facilities are offered for NGO’s and animal welfare groups to nurture, display and prepare cats for adoption, and to educate the population of the importance of neutering and preservation of other wildlife.
In addition to implementing the Up-Cycle concept at a macro and micro level throughout the design, one of the objectives of the Project is to embrace local culture through the use of carefully selected hard and soft landscape materials. This cultural heritage appreciation is achieved by adopting Betawi’s traditional ornaments as well as indigenous plants into the design elements. From a sustainability point of view, upcycled waste will provide unique and cost-effective hard landscape materials, while sustainability principles outline the selection of plants with specific ecological functions, such as phytoremediation, storm water filtration, soil purification, and carbon sequestration.
A Benchmark for New Public Space Planning and Design for Jakarta
Townland hopes that our design can become a benchmark for new public space design across Jakarta – as developed parks and public spaces in other parts of the World have successfully shown that the proposed ideas are not new nor extra-ordinary, but simple and relatively cost efficient. The proposed conceptual design for the Up-Cycle Park aims to transform a desolate and run-down urban wasteland into a bustling and diverse urban space, teaming with youngsters, teenagers and elderly. It seeks to promote and educate environmental awareness, and offers possibilities of community engagement through collaboration between the government and organizations that have concerns about, but are not limited to, environmental issues, sustainability, and waste management and does this in a creative manner.