EdgeProp-ILAM Malaysia’s Sustainable Landscape Award 2020 Special Mention: Urban Park @ Eco Spring

Eco Spring is a 614-acre gated-and-guarded township in Tebrau within Iskandar Malaysia’s Flagship A in Johor, with homes inspired by classic European manors. The architectural aesthetics are reflected in the development’s spick and span landscaped surroundings, and like in all the projects by Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld), there is hardly a grass out of place, so to speak.

When completed, Eco Spring will have 2,885 homes. Of the 2,642 units launched thus far, around 79% have been sold. The township also comes with commercial and recreational components. Green spaces and a lake cover 78 acres or 13% of the development.

Guided by the core values of EcoWorld’s unique DNA, the landscape is designed to be in perfect harmony with the surroundings to form a picturesque township. Serving as the main recreational area, the 29.3-acre Urban Park at Eco Spring has been planned based on a landscape concept of “reflection and expression”. The meticulously-crafted Urban Park received a Special Mention by EdgeProp-ILAM Malaysia’s Sustainable Landscape Award 2020’s judging panel at EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed and Sustainable Property Awards 2020.

With a team of 46 people, Eco Spring’s landscape department has carefully designed, planned, built and subsequently maintained the landscape of the entire township. The team comprises professional horticulturists, landscape architects, engineers, project managers and craftsmen.

Eco World’s divisional general manager of group landscape Md Suhilmi Ismail explains that it all starts with “reflection” on the park components, the recreational activities and the cost efficiency to create a landscape that facilitates physical activities and relaxation while offering residents a sense of identity.

This is followed by the “expression” stage, which is about enhancing the value of the park, where the team looks into more detailed designs, compiles studies on safety, circulation and connectivity, gets residents’ feedback and consider the cost of tree transplants as well as elements that could serve as a focal point of the landscape, such as the grand gazebo at the park entrance.

People-centric designs

Suhilmi notes that the goal is to build a safe and aesthetically pleasing landscape with visual interest to attract visitors of all ages.

The design, he adds, stems from two questions: “Who are we designing for; and what are their needs?”

Ultimately, landscapes in township are meant to serve the residents, hence place-making is important and people-centric designs are implemented throughout the Urban Park, where it facilitates a range of active and passive activities for different age groups.

Children can have fun at the playground, while the Urban Park’s herb garden is a perfect place for them to learn about edible plants. It is also a place for family and community bonding.

For the more active, there is a basketball court, a football field and a roller skating rink whereas the not-so-sporty ones could enjoy some light workout at the outdoor gym, or take a stroll by the tranquil lake.

The pedestrian walkway and cycling lanes are wide enough and interlinked for comfortable walking, jogging and cycling experiences. The walking paths are also accessible to the disabled. Meanwhile, there are a number of benches around the park for people to just sit back and enjoy the serene environment.

Beautifully-sculpted shrubs further enhance the landscape around the eye-catching grand gazebo with a classic European design, bidding visitors to take click away at their cameras.

With safety, cleanliness and charm, all the features in the Urban Park are aimed to make the park an integral part of the community and to encourage residents to be more active around the township, says Suhilmi.

The beauty regimen

To keep the many plants lush, sufficient irrigation is a must. To save water, an underground rainwater harvesting system has been installed beneath the signature roundabout to collect rainwater. Water from the lake is used as well, hence minimising the usage of potable water.

From day one, the durability of the landscape components has been considered. Walkways, benches, the viewing deck, the pavilion and the LED compound lights are made of robust materials (such as concrete) and finishes to withstand the weather elements and daily use. The components are also easy to clean and refurbish.

Maintenance is carried out in a systematic way by highly motivated trained staff, Suhilmi notes.

“Furthermore, by having our own permanent landscape staff, the cost of maintenance can be lowered by 15% to 20% compared with outsourced contractors,” he proudly shares.

Moving forward, the plan is to establish a digitalised system to store information such as cost-related data, plant information, maintenance guidelines and records, design reviews and schemes. Digitisation would ease the info-sharing process within the company.

“We feel glad and thankful when we see people appreciating our efforts in creating landscapes that engage with people. It motivates us to provide more sustainable landscapes in our developments in future,” he says.

Get the full results of EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed & Sustainable Property Awards 2020 here: https://www.edgeprop.my/awards2020

View the virtual awards ceremony here: https://buff.ly/2YFNcVg​

This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my e-Pub on July 2, 2020. You can access back issues here.

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