Cutting-edge WSUD showcased in Singleton town centre
Singleton is a regional coal mining town, located in the upper Hunter Region west of Newcastle, around two hours north-west of Sydney. In 2015, Singleton Council led a cutting-edge green technology streetscape upgrade of John Street, in the Singleton town centre – the largest public domain redevelopment project undertaken by council at the time.
Citygreen consultants assisted and supported the project Landscape Architects and Engineers with cutting-edge design concepts that included coupling the tree pits and rain gardens to water filtration pits, enabling the removal of pollutants, flood mitigation, and passive watering.
Having involvement in streetscape projects internationally, Citygreen believes this project is positioned at the cutting edge of best practice for integration of trees with stormwater management and treatment. Detailed environmental modelling was conducted during design of the stormwater treatment train. As a result, Singleton Council has become a showcase for good environmental design in the built environment.
Chris Houghton, formerly Associate Director and Landscape Architect at Spackman Mossop Michaels, said, “Singleton Council, who initiated and managed the project, wanted to create a town centre that was iconic in the region, expressed the aspirations of the local community, provided amenity to local residents, improved environmental quality and water management, bolstered tourism, and ultimately contributed to local commerce.
“The town centre focused on John Street, and had suffered from heavy vehicle traffic, a gradual decline in architectural quality, a reliance on “pit and pipe” infrastructure and a poor quality pedestrian environment dominated by traffic movements. Redirection of heavy vehicle movements, combined with a clear staging program, allowed the re-envisioning of the public street and a return to the “hustle and bustle” of pedestrian activity as you would expect in a thriving regional town.
“The reductions in heavy vehicle traffic meant that the broad road pavement could be reduced through the widening of footpaths and the introduction of raised crossings and rain gardens. The rain gardens were designed to receive runoff from the footpaths and road surface, filter out heavy sediments and nutrients, before returning the water to the stormwater system. In addition, the tree pit design benefited from the introduction of soaker pits which captured road runoff, filtered the water, and allowed a controlled volume of water into the vaulted tree root matrix.
“The systems offered by Citygreen satisfied the objectives of the design team from the outset. The material made available to us by Citygreen allowed us to confidently ‘sell’ the ideas to the client. The systems employed comprised the Stratacell root vaulting and soaker pit systems, along with associated fittings and fixtures. Citygreen offer a comprehensive solution from below-ground to surface.”
Today, the finished project speaks for itself. Chris said, “The water sensitive urban design component has helped to create a new, fresh town centre, satisfying council’s objectives and something that the vast majority of local residents are now very proud of.”
Praising Citygreen’s efforts, Chris said, “Citygreen are able to supply the technical detail necessary, in terms of structural and hydraulic design, for the design team to prepare construction design documents. Citygreen staff were available throughout the design and construction phases to assist with design queries, discuss precedents and alternatives. We see this as critical to the success of such projects.”