Reflection for Resilience

Reflection for Resilience is a project that explores the natural and social systems that provide the framework for Launceston, Tasmania. Through the lens of Antifragility, the project aims to reinforce the ecological, hydrological, and sociological systems to create an adapted landscape that will strengthen in rising temperatures.


One of the key ways to create an antifragile environment is through creating a robust background system which will help to create a network that will only get stronger through the event of climate change. This is done by connecting natural systems together in order to establish hardy populations of flora and fauna, and establish the threatened community groups so that they are not hindered by a climate crisis. Natural systems will also aid in reflecting heat from the city and help to cool it down through the transpiration of plants or established water systems.
Throughout Launceston currently, the human-made system disconnects the natural systems, creating fragmentation and isolation of threatened communities. This project connects the natural networks transforming them to be the strongest of the entire area.

The ecological site is transformed into a vegetation dominated region, where the primary network found is the vegetation system through a mix of wetlands, grasslands and an open eucalypt forest.

Secondly, the hydrological network connects site to place. With rising waters an issue for the near future, the hydrological framework confronts the issue by strengthening the systems through antifragility; with rising floodwaters they gain strength and purpose.

Finally, the sociological system is strengthened by a combination of social networks and ecological systems. They are a combination, as one could not be antifragile without the other. An interconnected social network will lead to an antifragile ecological system. The future for this site is reliant on the social fabric to hold it together.

A summary of the highlighted mapping systems can be found in the slideshow and video below:

The Ecological Strategic Plan

The Ecological site (plan 1:6000 @ A3) focuses on returning the cleared sections of the site to the environment by creating sections with a focal point of vegetation and ecology. The planting pallet explored here reflects the planting pre-clearing (TASVEG, 2016) consisting of open Eucalypt woodland and wetlands. As the ecology is the primary theme for this area, they have been separated into three zones. Zone A is the wetlands zone, found within the 5m contour. Here the environment is low to the ground, scattered with shrubs, sedges, grasses and small trees. Zone B is the tree zone. This is where majority of the canopy is found, through the use of trees, grasses and shrubs. Zone B is found in the 15m contour, to not hinder the views from the suburban area up the hill to the water. Zone C is the ‘green heart’ of the site. It is the central section of the site which is the TAFE that has been planted out and vegetated. Zone C creates an indication to the changes that are happening in the city of Launceston by connecting people to the environmental systems. The ecological system in this site is antifragile in how it adds increased resilience to the rising temperatures. Adding thorough planting in this site will decrease the temperatures found within the urban areas of the city, and create an oasis for people to escape to.

This riverside space of Launceston transforms into an area of tranquillity and mimics the natural environment that once was. The ecological system is prominent and strong, becoming the primary theme of the area

The TAFE ‘green heart’ of the site has been transformed into a place of lush vegetation. Here people can interact with this land and feel welcome to spend time inside.

The Hydrological Strategic Plan

The Hydrological site (plan 1:6000 @ A3) uses the projected rising waters due to global warming, and incorporates them into the site. Rather than blocking the water out and shying away from its impacts, the site welcomes the water and it creates a hydrology system which is antifragile. It utilizes the rising water to create a wetlands environment for the population of Launceston to explore through a series of boardwalks and open areas. The walkways proposed incorporate exercise into the area, with a 3.4km walk weaving throughout trees and over riparian vegetation and water. Whilst the site has been programmed for the incorporation of the predicted rising water in 2050, the areas where the water will be are left vacant until it makes its way in, thus designing for a future use. Although they are vacant for the important future use, they could be activated by various temporary activities (e.g. outdoor concerts, a multitude of general park activities, exercising, etc.). This site has been proposed to be a staged development, taking place from 2030-2050. The vegetation pallet was drawn from information provided by the Tasmanian Government about the pre-clearing vegetation in the area. It is also a combination of wetlands and open Eucalypt forest vegetation. The wetlands and grasses vegetation will be used along the edges of the proposed waterways, and the eucalypt forest will be sprawled out everywhere else changing in densities. In the Northern and Eastern sections of the site, the Eucalypt forest will be densest.

The North Esk River is the embodiment of water and the life in which it brings. Surrounded by lush wetlands and vegetation, the hydrology system creates the essence of space and its antifragility. It feels resilient, relentless and constant.

The boardwalk through the dense vegetation sections of the site creates adventure for the user.

The Sociological Strategic Plan

The Sociological site (plan 1:6000 @ A3) connects people to the ecological systems throughout, connecting green corridors with fragmented vegetation sections to create a holistic site where the urban fabric is secondary to the environmental fabric. The social aspects of the site are used to drive the natural system, both strengthening each other in the face of the urban heat island. The community is what will aid in creating a resilient site, through volunteer planting of the streets. The sociological site will use the example provided by Munich, Germany in regards to implementing green roofs. New builds over 100m2 will be required to have green roofs and existing structures over 300m2 will be required to have green roofs added. There is a proposed join (fauna crossing) for the dense vegetation areas to the North-East section of the site, which will aid in minimising flora fragmentation, and then therefore connecting more fauna to the site. This is all projected to take place over a series of stages spanning over 2030-2050.
The vegetation pallet provided for this site consists mainly of shrubs/ grasses/ small trees which can be used along the streetscape corridors and the green roofs. There are also some edible plants that have been suggested, to connect people to the vegetation throughout the site and encourage them to be involved with the planting along the streets.

The social spaces of Launceston have been transformed into a pedestrian strong network. While vegetation and canopy lines its framework, the social impact of change is what has truly left a mark.

The green roofs- located here along some existing roofs which are over 300m2 in size. There are many possibilities for the green roofs in planting selection, here a mix of mulch set planting and turf/ grass planting have been depicted.

Reflection for Resilience is a project that explores the natural and social systems that provide the framework for Launceston, Tasmania. Through the lens of Antifragility, the project aims to reinforce the ecological, hydrological, and sociological systems to create an adapted landscape that will strengthen in rising temperatures.

Beth Evans

Beth is a 4th year Landscape Architecture student graduating mid 2021 with a passion for the environment and for integrating inclusive design principles in everyday spaces. These passions have driven her university work to explore themes of adult play, conservation design and finally this semester; the Urban Heat Island Effect.