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Three Examples of How Landscaping Design Can Help Reclaim Urban Landscapes

Garden water fountains

An estimated four out of five surveyed Americans report that they keep their yards landscaped at all times, and for good reason: landscaping allows homeowners to utilize as much of their land as possible for entertaining, gardening, and living, while also helping a home gain value and curb appeal. With these benefits, it is no wonder that an increasing number of homeowners are hiring professional landscaping services to help maintain their lawns. But did you know that landscape design and equipment for landscaping are used for more than just residential areas? On the contrary, a number of urban areas use landscaping tips and tricks to completely revitalize areas that have been affected by everything from toxic pollution to war. These inspiring landscaping design ideas have given new life to communities by creating public spaces for everyone to enjoy, often in spite of their previous use. Will these landscaping design plans inspire you?

Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord in Duisburg, Germany
With a name meaning “landscape park”, its no surprise that this former steel plant’s 570 acres have been carefully redesigned to meet a number of community needs. Buildings originally used for ironworking now host cultural and corporate functions, an old gasometer is the site of Europe’s largest man-made diving center, alpine climbing gardens have been set up in old storage structures, and a casting house now holds a high-ropes course. Instead of paving over the plant, the landscapers and architects allowed native plants to reform the landscape into a poetic and beautiful space, which can be viewed from an observation tower or through the site’s many bike trails. The park has now been in operation for 20 years and entry is free.

The High Line in New York City
Possibly one of the most famous examples of adaptive landscaping, the High Line is a mile-long piece of abandoned railroad on New York City’s West Side. Under threat of demolition, the site was instead turned into an elevated park, a choice that cost considerably less than it would have to completely demolish and rebuild the area. Today, the High Line is filled with self-seeding plants and cultural attractions and offers amazing views of the Hudson River. As a result, it is now one of the most popular destinations the city has to offer.

The Gardens of Alcatraz in San Francisco
When you hear “Alcatraz”, you’ll likely think of famous prisoners like Al Capone, or possibly the highly-publicized prison escape attempts that ranged from the 1930s to the early 60s. However, did you know that staff members and prisoners transformed the island into a series of extensive, heavily-maintained gardens while Alcatraz was in operation? Because the island is so extremely isolated, these beautiful gardens were an effective way for the island’s inhabitants, including the families of the guards, to retain a sense of normalcy. Although they were abandoned with the rest of the prison in 1963, designers put their brains and equipment for landscaping to work to extensively redesign and renovate the site, returning the gardens to their former glory.

Have these reclaimed urban sites inspired you to pick up some equipment for landscaping and do some gardening? Are you interested in how garden design could change your property? Contact a local garden center or landscaping company today to discuss how modern landscaping can change your home for the better!

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