Marrickville Public School has been announced as the winner of the My Park Rules Competition.
The program was developed by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) and the 202020 Vision. Tract worked with the school to develop their concept proposal.
The high profile Jury of landscape and urban greening experts, including Lucy Turnbull AO, awarded Marrickville as the winning finalist as they felt, “The community of students, staff and parents illustrated how the creation of a shared vision can also be a call to arms to ‘be the change you want to see in the world’.” said Jury Chair, Kylie Legge.
“In working with the school community, we learnt about their challenges; 60% of the students come from ethnically diverse backgrounds where English is not the first language spoken at home, the school’s playground is directly under a major flight path and 65% of the population live in medium or high density dwellings compared to 40% in Greater Sydney” said Julie Lee from Tract who collaborated with the school to develop their winning design.
“Despite this inner West area being known for its growing café scene and gentrification, there are still considerable social and environmental issues that need to be addressed and a new community park will play a part in creating long-term positive change for this area. We envisage Marrickville Primary School as part of a wider green network that offers an exciting place not only for the school, but opens up the space on weekends for broad community use in the form of functions, markets and events. Encouraging social enterprises empowers multiple uses of the space and also creates a culture of place rooted in social capital and identity.”
The Jury noted that the problems of the existing play space were clearly conceptualised and transformation of the asphalt play area into an engaging, comfortable, playful and richly diverse environment using trees and plants responds directly to the needs and imaginations of the children.
Throughout the project there has been high levels of engagement in the process which has also led to the delivery of the first stage of the vision – an ‘Orchard’ zone with community food growing garden. The benefits of the Marrickville process and outcomes are many – from the direct improvement of student leisure time to an increased sense of connection within the wider school community – the Jury were impressed that the space would be open and inviting to the broader community. The design is practical and achievable - the jury were impressed by the creative use of existing materials and adaptive re-use for the space. The commitment from the community to participate in its ongoing maintenance and care is also testament to the holistic and engaging design process that has been undertaken.
Tract will continue to collaborate with the school and AILA in constructing the design within the next twelve months.