By Scott Rowan, Landscape & Facility Operations Manager
In part one of our Landscape Design series, we learned about some of the ways DMB is creating great places by placing as much focus on landscape design as it does on community building. To pay tribute to the turn-of-the-century neighborhoods and destinations in Phoenix and Tucson, Eastmark’s landscape vision is referred to as “Old Arizona.”
A cornerstone feature of the Old Arizona urban landscape is the use of arroyos and riparian areas found along pathways of water. These features are being recreated at Eastmark in areas such as the Great Park where a stream and lake creates a wild habitat sanctuary for plants and animals.
Parks, which are central hubs of activity in each neighborhood, take on an Old Arizona feel with the use of formal landscape elements like flowering plants or sculptural agave and prickly pear planted in rows or in clusters. Open green space and built shade structures provide the venue for gatherings to take place.
And finally, front yards of homes carry out a “near town” landscape design concept that emphasizes pedestrian-oriented urban neighborhoods with shaded sidewalks and courtyards. Small flowering plants may be used to accentuate sidewalks that lead to the front door, while taller shrubs and trees soften modern architectural forms such as side walls of garages.
The landscape vision for Eastmark is grand, but is also rooted in responsible use of land and a stewardship of resources that maximize the visual appeal and functionality of the community. It’s hoped that Eastmark will be described as “a city of gardens and trees,” just as Phoenix was described when it was a new town in the Sonoran Desert.
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