Then and Now: The Laycock Walk, Mascot project
By Kristyn M. Levis
Laycock Walk in Botany Bay, NSW has blossomed into a thriving green space after the project’s completion just short of two years.
The project used the CityGreen® modular StrataCell system® in the conversion of the street from a vehicular road to public open space in May 2012. It provided a link for pedestrians between Mascot Station and the surrounding commercial, residential and industrial areas.
Scott Champion, Landscape Architect from Botany Bay City Council, said the Chinese Tallowwood trees are now “well established and showing very strong canopy and trunk calliper growth”.
“The understorey planting has also flourished and this is without the use of an irrigation system with the plants and trees relying on run off from the surrounding pavements,” Scott said.
The transition from Laycock Street to Laycock Walk was important as it provided valuable open space to the public given the expected residential and commercial increase in the Mascot area over the next 10 years. The walk provided locals with a safe, attractive, and usable space.
Since the completion of the installation, Scott said the trees have required very little maintenance and there has been no issues with the StrataCells.
The council previously looked at a variety of systems before choosing the StrataCells. It was the percentage of void space available for root growth that the CityGreen system provides which won them over. At the same time, the system is also able to adequately support the structural pavement surface.
Each tree pit in Laycock Walk was designed with understorey planting to allow for the interception of stormwater surface runoff negating the need for an irrigation system. To further enhance the growing conditions for the new trees, the planted tree pits were linked beneath the pavement via the use of the StrataCells. This provided a greater combined area of uncompacted soil that the trees root zone could utilise
“We were confident that the linked tree pit system we designed for Laycock Walk would provide optimal growing conditions for the new trees. However, it is always satisfying to see the results on the ground validating the selection made at the start of the project,” Scott said.
The Laycock Walk was the first project within the local area that used the CityGreen system but it won’t be the last. The Council has designed a new street tree specification for developing the Mascot Station Precinct streetscape. The street trees within the surrounding pavement will now incorporate CityGreen’s StrataCells, tree grille, tree guard, and aeration/irrigation products. The first trees utilising the system will be installed in the coming months in Bourke Road, Mascot.