Adaptive Planting Design: Requalification of the Garden of the Nursing School of Porto
Master in Landscape Architecture
Universidade do Porto. School of Sciences
The garden of the Nursing School of Porto (NSP) was conceived in 1973. Today it displays a developed and mature green structure with remarkable trees that perform irreplaceable environmental, aesthetical and social services.
The garden is located in Porto, Portugal, in an increasing urban context near important health and educational
facilities. The passage of time and the relentless transformation of the city had some negative impacts in the
garden: the limits changed, decreasing the available area, new functions were hastily implemented, and
pavements and structures have become damaged; but the main problem, and most urgent to solve, was related to the phytosanitary condition of the green structure. A strong aphids attack was compromising the health of remarkable trees that were in danger of being felled, while deficient maintenance practices ruined the shrub layer.
A requalification proposal was developed with the main focus of rehabilitating the green structure of the garden.
Additionally, the overall conservation of the garden as well as the introduction of new functions was also taken into consideration. The main focus of this project was, thereby, the development of an Adaptive Planting Design approach introducing, into the garden, target plant species to solve green structure specific problems. This formula, based on literature review and on new approaches to planting design, defends that a more holistic knowledge of plant performance (simultaneously ornamental, aesthetic and ecological) allows to propose stable communities capable of self-regulating and regenerating, making it possible to multiply the services andmaximize the performance of the vegetation.