Artist's impressions of the new Maroochydore CBD.
Artist's impressions of the new Maroochydore CBD. SunCentral

SOAP BOX: It's important to plan shady spaces

I LOVE the artist's impression for SunCentral.

There is so much green and so much blue; beautiful arching bridges over canals and the river; a little beach where the kids might safely splash around; a lovely art-installation in the water.

It looks fantastic.

However, have a think about actually walking along those paths with their wide expanses of lawn.

There's virtually no shade.

Maybe I'm looking at this thing a bit too literally, but the only trees seem, for the most part, well away from the paths.

The bridges too are lacking in shade, meaning you'll be roasting slowly as you cross them in summer.

A few trees along the path would largely solve the sunburn problem and would also provide what would likely be a welcome wind bank from cold winds coming off the river during winter.

Maybe the designers were worried trees would break the lines of the parkland, but a parkland isn't worth much if it's too hot to use.

And, even then, there are alternatives.

South Bank had a great idea with its bougainvillea walk.

Sure, it took years for it to thicken up enough to provide much by way of shade and it needs constant care and attention to keep it (mostly) that way, but it looks fantastic and is pleasant to walk through.

And while I'm quite comfortable with the idea of the Coast ripping off someone else's good idea, I have no doubt we can come up with plenty of our own to make sure SunCentral is as pleasant a place to be as it is to look at.

Any suggestions?