Innovation That Matters

13,000 square metres of concrete have been removed from Warsaw’s Pole Mokotowskie Park | Photo source WXCA

Redesigned city park adds biodiversity, art, and space for outdoor events

Architecture & Design

More than 13,000 square metres of concrete have been removed from ponds and waterways


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Spotted: Parks are the beating hearts of cities, providing crucial environments for wildlife of many sizes as well as areas of rest and recreation for local citizens. Some larger parks, such as Warsaw’s Pole Mokotowskie Park, serve diverse community groups. Accessible via public transport, and located near a university, stadium, and national library, the park provides green space for many people.

Tasked with improving the park’s natural sustainability, architecture company WXCA looked at ways of enhancing the elements that were already in place to better support wildlife. One of the most visible means of designing a park for flora and fauna, as well as people, was the removal of thousands of square metres of concrete.

Removing concrete in and around ponds and other waterways allows the features to shape themselves naturally, in reaction to both the surrounding environs and the weather. Doing so supports biodiversity by removing artificial constraints and flows. More than 13,000 square metres of concrete has already been removed, with more removal planned over the next year.

For the human users of the park, the designers created education, event, and art spaces. The Grand Salon, a meadow encircled by trees, is for large public gatherings, and a handful of pavilions scattered throughout the space provide visible means of monitoring the quality of the air and water. They also contribute to the park’s ecosystem through rainwater harvesting.

As temperatures consistently rise, city planners are using plant canopies and mixed use designs to reduce heat islands, improve air quality, and prevent urban runoff.  

Written by: Keely Khoury



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