Linear thinking delivers a Queensland first in park design

July 14, 2023

Conventional urban design was thrown out the door when it came to designing the local park in Palmview’s largest masterplanned community – Harmony, which is set to home Queensland’s first grand linear park.

Spanning more than five hectares and running the length of 10 football fields, the unusually flat development site was able to challenge traditional design concepts and deliver unprecedented open space and functionality to residents and wider community.

AVID Property Group General Manager Bruce Harper said the vision driving the design of open space at Harmony was to be more than just a masterplanned community that provided homes, but a masterplanned community that exceeded future residents’ expectations.

“The concept of connectivity is thrown around so much in masterplanning, and we set ourselves and RPS, our urban design team, the challenge of really delivering on that for the benefit of Harmony’s future residents,” Mr Harper said.

“Typically conventional design dictates a series of local parks dispersed around the community, which are often under-utilised by residents.”

Mr Harper said the combination of the parks into one long linear space, provided a visual and physical connecting ‘green spine’ through the development that would deliver a range of passive and active spaces, making the linear park and the development unique.

“This design has also meant we’ve been able to effectively meet Sunshine Coast Council’s objective of providing a park within 400 metres of every home – at Harmony more than 90 per cent of all resident will be within 250 metres from a local park. And this also means we’ve been able to connect our future residents to Harmony’s 60km network of pedestrian path and cycle ways.

“The design encompasses key activation areas, including recreational zones for people to kick the football or run around, to quieter areas to relax and read a book or enjoy a picnic. What our grand linear park will offer is a clear reflection of the social and recreational needs of our buyers.

“Harmony is being developed to cater to a range of different age groups and life stages, so it’s essential that the community’s open space areas cater to their various needs.”

RPS Regional Technical Director – Urban Design Peter Egerton said Harmony was unique in its topography as the site was particularly flat, which removed a number of design limitations for the linear park.

“Most new sites for communities of this size, have hills and gullies, which dictate the design by the location of storm water, treatment and roadways,” Mr Egerton said.

“Harmony has an abundance of open space and types of open space, which will be a huge attraction for buyers. The removal of traditional design restrictions enabled the team to put forward a design that really exceeds expectations for activation and functionality for the community.

“The difference in our design approach came about using the linear link, or green spine, to put residents within a four to five minute walk away from a linear park that takes you somewhere – and that somewhere can be to a district sports fields, regional open space or a neighbourhood centre.”