Dandenong is located in the heart of Melbourne’s growing southeast corridor, which was the focus of the state government’s $290 million “Revitalising Central Dandenong” initiative.
The City Street and North Station Plaza project’s primary objective was to provide the main pedestrian link between the revitalised central Dandenong and the Dandenong Railway Station.
“This connection takes on various forms of urban plaza and ‘shared street’ with extensive greening through trees and rain gardens. It serves as a major food, retail, residential and commercial destination for this part of Dandenong,” says Blake Farmar-Bowers from ASPECT Studios, the lead consultant, Urban Designer and Landscape Architect for the project.
Blake said there was very minimal available growing space for street trees as the area was a very urban and paved environment along with extensive underground services. One of the biggest issues they found was designing the tree surrounds so that it withstands fire truck loading.
“StrataCells were used to increase the depth of the viable growing soil media, creating best conditions for these trees to flourish given these constraints,” he added.
The StrataCells structural soil cells, manufactured from 100 per cent recycled polymer, can be assembled to form a skeletal matrix that supports pavement and traffic loads. This structural cell system features almost five times more available growing media compared to the traditional rock/soil method, therefore facilitating healthy root growth. Because of its high structural integrity, these matrices can be used beneath trafficked areas.
Blake recalls that the “irregular shaped garden beds created complexity with extent of StrataCell lay pattern”. But with the assistance of CityGreen and Civilscape, the contractor for the project, the installation went very well.
Since then, ASPECT has pursued the use of CityGreen systems in several of its other projects.