One of the most significant Parklands to be constructed in Tasmania saw the old Kingston High School site transformed into a beautiful land of play and inclusivity. Play St Landscape Architects masterplan of the space was a multifaceted concept which sought out to provide a play space that draws on the natural Tasmanian environment, Aboriginal history and way of life, as well as contemporary approaches to play.
Kingborough environmental requirements meant that sensitivity to nature would be paramount. Ensuring the preservation of dark skies and limiting light pollution in the area was vital. Another equally important factor for this area was the Whitewater Creek Pathway and establishing a lighting solution that would not only provide a safe space for locals to enjoy the pathway for travel and exercise opportunity, but to also have minimal disruptions and impact to the true and original locals of the area; the wildlife inhabitors of Whitewater Creek.
Whitewater Creek is filled with many species of wildlife such as Pademelons, native hens, snakes and skinks, eastern bared bandicoots and brown bandicoots, a wide range of birds, including possibly the critically endangered Swift Parrots when the blue gums are flowering.
Light pollution can dramatically affect the habitats, breeding and migration of animals and birdlife. In order to protect these species and their habitats, the decision was made to light the pathway with the highest degree of consideration for the surrounding wildlife.
A specialised outdoor lighting solution was created for the Parklands that would satisfy all criteria for best practise lighting design, not only for Dark Sky, but also in line with the National Light Pollution for Wildlife Guidelines.
- Lighting was only used for the specific purpose of lighting pathways for safe movement.
- All light was directed down and particular lens optics were used to control the LED light distribution, controlling light cut offs and minimising spill light into the sensitive areas of the park.
- Smart control systems were utilised to program fittings to switch on/off and dim down at certain times of the day and night, creating appropriate scenes that consider human and wildlife behaviours.
- In a Tasmanian first- 2200K temperature was used in all luminaires along the Whitewater Creek pathway as this has only approximately 6% blue wavelengths, suitable for sensitive environmental areas. A monumental way forward for dark skies and wildlife alike.
Within the park, a combination of 2700K temperature and a different lens optic maximised the play spaces and provided optimal visual comfort and safety for its patrons whilst still providing a very warm and biologically appropriate colour temperature.
When speaking with Manager for Environmental Services for Kingborough Council, Liz Quinn; she expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the lighting as the creek corridor remained quite dark at night.
Kingston Parklands has created an organic oasis amongst the ever-expanding Kingborough community. During the day, the sprawling layers of the park provide a consistent hub of amusement and activity for all ages. At night, the Parklands unwind into a harmonious sanctuary that promotes the natural rhythms of day & night, creating a safe and healthy precinct for humans and wildlife.
Landscape Architect- Play Street Landscape Architects
Engineer- Stage 1– JMG Engineers & Planners Stage 2 – Coordinated Engineering Services
Client- Kingborough Council
Images- Jackie Chan