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AUSTRALIAN OASIS IN NYC
Australian Oasis is transportive. With people unable to travel to exotic lands due to the constraints of the global pandemic, this garden gives visitors a glimpse of the natural beauty of Australia without them having to leave the streets of New York City. When visitors arrive at the Australian Oasis Pop-Up Garden, they enter a lush green space that is reminiscent of the Australian Eucalypt forests and the lavender fields of Tasmania with a mural inspired by the street art of Perth. The fragrances of these native botanicals, including Tasmania lavender, coastal tea tree and Sydney eucalyptus, will fill the air.
The scents shift the focus of the space to wellness as each has specific properties that benefit the human body. Coastal tea tree is antibacterial and antiviral, lavender naturally reduces stress and anxiety while supporting sleep and Sydney eucalyptus helps fight allergies that are exacerbated by urban pollution with its decongestant properties.
The pop-up environment will merge urban concrete and art with greenery to show how the botanicals create a new, clean and purified breathing environment. The mural also serves as a reminder to the passersby to put on a mask to protect oneself and others. The space will influence its visitors and break down social stigmas associated with wearing masks daily, because the lady in the mural is just that cool.
Life post-coronavirus will be different and people will continue to search for ways to connect with the world around them which, for a time, has seemed out of reach. Research shows that people benefit greatly from interaction with plants. Green spaces within urban environments also help to lower the temperature and clean the air. This pop-up sanctuary has no surfaces that visitors have to touch. The space is outdoors, which helps airflow. Should the space become too crowded, visitors can enjoy the beauty from afar, be it across the street or a little down the block. The view from farther away, via car or a window above was keenly considered in the design. Neighbors of the space are able to enjoy its beauty from the comfort of their home/office windows. The space will make the neighborhood a little greener, a little cleaner and allow residents to take in some of the sights and smells of Australia.
This concept is scalable and adaptive. With an increased demand for more green outdoor spaces, cities can use this model to create pop-up or permanent public gardens in empty lots. The inspiration for these environments can remain transportive or focus on the uniqueness of the neighborhoods in which they exist by combining native flora with murals celebrating local residents.
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