A Parking meadow

Michael G. White


A Parking meadow: An agent-based simulation driven of native wildflower species to vegetate permeable parking in Western Sydney The landscape that once covered the Cumberland Plain was a rich and diverse community of plants, with 90% of species existing in the understorey. Today only 12% of those communities exist only in fragmented patches.This project aims to show how simulation of vegetation community dynamics might help to test and explore design ideas and solve problems. In the Western Sydney Aerotropolis new technologies and solutions are required to address future challenges. Traditional paving solutions contribute to urban heat island effect and increase surface runoff. Precast concrete pavers with grass are one solution that can allow both permeability and vegetation growth, however typical turf species used have low biodiversity and habitat value. In this proposal, pavers are filled with a soil media including crushed stone seeds and tubestock planting. Here we use a growth simulation to explore the effect of root growth in a constrained soil medium. As plants self-seed and colonise the available growth media, an agent-based system is used to simulate self-seeding and germination behaviours. We can adjust species mix, germination and failure rates and view results in real-time. Although carparks are highly disturbed, disturbance can be a good thing. In natural environments disturbance by herbivores and fire can stimulate and maintain biodiversity. We can review the impact of vehicle disturbance on low and high traffic areas. These simulations may help us to make decisions about plant selection and design, and engage with stakeholders. To further explore these ideas, physical trials and controlled testing will be required.