One of the main elements supporting the routes is characterized by parking lots that make walking and moving more comfortable. They are distinguished in cycle and car parks and must be commensurate with the size of the garden and the expected flow.
Car parks usually arise at access points to internal paths. Often these are temporary stops that see a frequent exchange of users who stop for a short time within the green area.
There are different types of parking areas for cars, commensurate with the type of spaces used for public green areas:
- surface parking
- underground or elevation parking
In order to optimize the use of the parking area, it is necessary to analyze the size of the cars and the maneuvering space they need, to properly design each individual parking space. The parking lot that allows you to make the best use of the space, especially if it is small, is the comb style followed by the belt type which requires 25% more space. The types just mentioned, are the result of the angle of inclination of the stall with respect to the direction of travel of the access lane:
0 ° à parking spaces arranged parallel to the access lane (belt parking)
90 ° à parking lots arranged perpendicular to the access lane
(posteggi a pettine)
30 ° / 45 ° / 60 ° à parking spaces arranged in an inclined way as needed
specification (sawtooth stands)
Type of street parking
With regard to the choice of the flooring material for the parking spaces, since they are adjacent to a green area, special attention should be paid. It is necessary to operate from a sustainable and coherent perspective with respect to the context: it is essential to consider the chromatic and functional aspects.
The prefabricated concrete blocks, available on the market in various colors, the self-locking blocks with multiple finishes and still gravel, grass and pebbles as perfect natural solutions for the context under analysis, are optimal.
The stands are spaced apart by means of strips that differ in material and color, so as to make the boundaries of each stall visible. In addition, it is necessary to ensure the shading of at least part of the available parking spaces, through the insertion of shrubs.
In the case of the neighborhood garden, it is important that the parking lot is shielded from the common green area, in order to create a visual and functional separation between pedestrians, users and cars. The solutions adopted are manifold: decorative elements, tree species, hedges, low walls and shrubs that create a natural limit aimed at the user's psycho-physical well-being.
PARKING FOR DISABLED PEOPLE
During the design process relating to the parking area for vehicles, the presence of parking spaces for the disabled must be budgeted. In common areas aimed at the public, according to legislation, one parking space per disabled person is provided for every 50. This place must have a minimum length of 3.20 meters, calculated on the size of a standard vehicle of 1.70 meters at which adds a space of 1.50 m necessary for the movement of the wheelchair. The stall must be connected easily, to the sidewalk or to the path that leads to the green space and must be properly indicated, by means of yellow stripes, a mark on the floor and a vertical signal.
6. The garden and sustainability
The issue of sustainability today occupies an important space in the world debate; it is applied in various fields and also in urban planning. It is necessary to recreate the right balance between architectural artefacts and public green spaces; the optimal solution lies in the parks and gardens which must fit into the urban fabric consistently.
From an environmental point of view, it is important to take into account the available resources and once the plant species, water resources and soil morphology have been identified, make the most of them in respect of the existing context.
It is good to favor the choice of vegetation capable of capturing CO2 and performing important functions for biodiversity and acoustic well-being so as to reduce the use of artificial, expensive and impacting systems.
The neighborhood garden must also be seen as a valid opportunity to reintroduce the typical species of the area, since the original biomes represent a fundamental landscape matrix.
The study of plant types is also necessary because it can perform important functions of cooling and passive heating with respect to the built fabric of the city. In fact, a careful green design that interspers horizontal and vertical surfaces, favoring the passage of air, is able to guarantee an excellent performance standard in environmental terms. This is extremely important for cities where the phenomenon of the heat island records positive trends both during the day and at night due to the continuous absorption of solar radiation by the urban structure.
As far as the social aspect is concerned, to obtain a successful successful project it is necessary to start from a careful analysis of the needs of future users of the area.
It is important to ensure comfort and well-being at the community level, in order to encourage visits to the gardens and recreate the old sense of community and participation, which has unfortunately become discolored in the hearts of citizens.
It can therefore be concluded that parks, gardens and green areas in general are seen as urban lungs capable of improving environmental conditions within cities. However, too often, poor quality and poor maintenance cause the loss of numerous shrubs, canceling the real functions of these spaces. Precisely for this reason, the need to adopt some good cultivation techniques aimed at creating natural habitats with a particular focus on environmental sustainability is making its way.
The natural green project
According to the above, to be sustainable, the project development should schematically follow the following steps:
- knowledge of soil profiles and characteristics of natural components
- acquisition and location of plant species
- organization of green volumes and proportions of the garden
- reconstruction of indigenous habitats
The size of the available surface is the basic element that influences the design choices by defining the perception of the spaces. The profiles of the soil, if analyzed and exploited to the best, are decisive with respect to the good aesthetic and qualitative success of the garden. A totally horizontal green area causes the observer to focus his attention only on one point, often the central one. In the case of small spaces, interventions aimed at exploiting the space through solutions that amplify the visual field are optimal. In this sense, soft lines are preferred to geometric cuts and it is favorable to recreate hillocks that increase the depth of the space. The next step is to arrange the soil profile by adopting integrated natural techniques.
An increasingly used mode is characterized by mulching. It is an alternative choice to the flooring which provides for the arrangement of a micro-perforated plastic sheet over the entire walkable surface. The micro-holes guarantee permeability to rainwater and targeted irrigation.
Usually a layer of aggregates (gravel, sand, bark) of varying thickness is placed on the sheet which will allow to achieve a more homogeneous and natural aesthetic.
In addition, mulching regulates the water balance of the soil as it reduces the evaporation of the water present in the deeper layers which thus remains available to the roots of the trees. Along the paths, an integration consisting of a paved insert is usually inserted to make the movements easier.
Another decisive choice to restore the original natural balance to the area concerns the vegetable field in terms of species and varieties to be used.
In addition to the autochthonous plants, naturalized ones can be used, that is, planted for a long time in the specific area.
In any case, the selection of the vegetation elements is guided by functional, environmental and aesthetic reasons. Specifically, the type of shrub must be chosen with a view to the function it will cover: shading, visual barrier, ornament or even cooling.
In the specific case of deciduous deciduous trees and plants, they will show their changing aspect during the succession of the various seasons, making climate changes more perceptible.
Otherwise, the evergreen species will maintain their foliage throughout the year, maintaining a massive appearance, useful if you want to restore visual weight to the entire garden.
The most advantageous solution combines both types, which can be positioned alternately, giving glimpses and variable views based on the time of year.
What turns out to be really important is the ability to predict the development of the selected species in a given territory from the earliest stages of the design process, proceeding consciously and responsibly. In fact, especially in the urban area, it is essential to maintain the functions and aesthetic appearance over time, avoiding damage to things and people. If spaces are limited, as often happens in neighborhood gardens, it is preferable to opt for plants with little radical development, since growing, the roots would be an obstacle for cycle and pedestrian paths. It is also a must to avoid plants that can cause allergies, which present poisonous flowers and fruits or thorns and spines, as they are dangerous elements for citizens. In urban areas, the species with the greatest capacity for absorbing CO2 and releasing oxygen are indicated, in order to counteract excessive pollution. In addition to shrubs, hedges are multifunctional and highly aesthetic elements; they must be sized according to the needs and must not present inconsistency and discontinuity in their development.
After choosing the type of plants and shrubs that best fits in the lot in which the garden will be built, it is necessary to organize the composition scheme in order to obtain a harmonious and consistent result with the surrounding environment. Although often not very perceptible, there is a real hierarchy, which if respected, will give satisfactory results. In fact, the harmonious succession of vegetation plans of different heights allows you to visually pass from the herbaceous to the shrubby and finally arboreal level in a gradual and balanced way. Usually we tend to focus attention on an element that will act as a reference point with respect to all the other components. This will create a harmonic progression that will allow you to perceive the spaces as related to each other in a natural way. After establishing the design unit, the proportions are defined accordingly. If the ground shows movements, placing the plant masses correctly, pleasant visual effects will be obtained.
What is fundamental is that there is a proportion between masses in volume and expanded forms; the former consist of all natural and anthropogenic dimensions while the latter are characterized by paths, masses of water and meadows. The plant element and the built element (which must be reduced as much as possible, in relation to specific needs) must merge in order to recreate natural microenvironments similar to indigenous habitats, blending perfectly into the context.
Finally, in the face of a conscious and careful design, it is important to keep in mind how the maintenance of the space will play a fundamental role in the success of the green area.
Management of the water element
As sector studies show, areas containing different percentages of greenery manage rainfall differently. It is easy to deduce that a higher quantity of plant elements corresponds to a higher absorption of water by the soil.
In fact, with the increase in waterproof surfaces (recreated by the designer's hand), the amount of rainwater that infiltrates the subsoil decreases.
GREEN AREA 100% à water: 10% flows, 40% evaporates, 50% is absorbed
GREEN AREA AT 50-65% à water: 30% flows, 35% evaporates, 35% is absorbed
GREEN AREA AT 0-25% à water: 55% flows, 30% evaporates, 15% is absorbed
For this reason, in the case of the neighborhood garden, if the floors that characterize paths, accesses and functional areas occupy a large portion of the available surface, it is necessary to introduce systems that better manage meteoric outflows. An example is the stormwater box, filtration systems that collect and treat rainwater that cannot be accepted from the ground.
These are tanks made of different materials (bricks, stones, concrete) filled with earth and plants (stormwater planter box) or gravel and pebbles (stormwater filter box) that can be placed in any open space lacking in permeable surfaces.
Graphical scheme of a stormwater planter box
SOURCE : https://www.ci.sandy.or.us/Planter-Boxes/
If you do not want to intervene with this type of solution, it is essential to increase the green walking surface. Lawn expanses are perfect in case of large spaces, while if the area is small, self-blocking panels with grass can be inserted in the parking areas or in correspondence with paths and paths.
Examples of self-blocking turf