Landscape Planner
UWA School of Design

Daniel Jan Martin is an environmental planner and designer based in Perth, Australia. He teaches and researches in architecture and landscape architecture at the UWA School of Design. His work explores ways of mapping and designing with our water systems and ecosystems — with expertise across geospatial analysis, sustainability and urban design. A passion for environmental communication drives his work — sharing, translating and advocating.

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Beneath Noongar Boodjar are deep waters, surfacing as tapestries of wetlands and streams throughout the Perth landscape. These deep waters form aquifers with intricate fluctuations and flows, sustaining much of the phenomenal biodiversity on the surface of Perth. As a ‘Hotspot City’, these ecological values and the waters that sustain them are in conflict with human impacts. In particular, urban and industrial development. 

It is vital that ecological frameworks become embedded within planning frameworks, to prioritise the health and safety of the land of which we are all a part. Collaborative environmental planning and landscape strategies are critical, providing canvases and conversations in a just transition from a biodiversity conflict to a place of care. ‘Deep’ and ‘surface’ mappings of urban hydrology and biodiversity allow us to ‘see’ our biodiversity, and imagine alternate frameworks for development. In these maps, we find opportunities for design and urgent spaces for conservation. 

From here, we arrive at the claypans of Perth, along Mandoorn (Yule Brook) on the eastern margin of the coastal plain. The Yule Brook corridor is a hotspot within a hotspot, comprising more than 700 hectares of land connecting the Dyarlgarro (Canning River) with Jerban (Lesmurdie Falls) in Perth’s hills. Here are some of the highest rates of biodiversity in the world within at least forty ecotypes. Yule Brook is an important corridor for the future of Perth, and negotiations to create a Regional Park are ongoing. Unless appropriate buffers and landscape opportunities are realised, collapse is likely. This discussion considers Yule Brook as a space for agency in which to bring together design, restoration and conservation.

The 2020 Festival of Landscape Architecture is taking place on Whadjuk Noongar Country. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Whadjuk Noongar Country and Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.