The Foreground five: our most-read stories so far in 2019

A look at Melbourne’s freshly-minted Skyrail, together with an exploration of the thriving ecology made possible by a sewage farm top our most-read stories in the year to date.

1. After the ribbon cutting: lessons learnt from Melbourne’s sky rail

A massive new elevated rail line in Melbourne, Australia, has brought dramatic transformation to the city’s south-eastern suburbs. Long-term challenges, however, persist and it remains to be seen if these changes are entirely positive. Read more.

2. In Australia, a sewage facility is now one of the world’s greatest bird habitats 

Melbourne’s Western Treatment Plant treats 500 megalitres of wastewater a day. It also rivals Kakadu for diversity and abundance of bird life. What lessons might this constructed landscape offer for the management of the planet’s increasingly beleaguered ecosystems? Read more.

3. Power Plants: Turning Brownfields Green

A design-led research experiment in Sydney is using plants to clean a toxic post-industrial site for future redevelopment. Read more.

4. Rethinking the landscape of death

Natural burial is challenging cemetery design and our increasingly toxic death management practices, while also finding potential for new expressions of thoughtfulness and beauty along the way. Read more.

5. Nature heals: the return of therapeutic landscapes

Exposure to nature was once key to helping patients recover from illness. However, with the rise of pharmacology, hospitals became ever more sealed artificial environments. Now that is all changing. A new generation of hospitals are rediscovering the therapeutic role of nature. Read more.