Ribbons of Life: Biodiverse Bridge Doubles as a Wildlife Crossing

In Australia, a new ribbon-inspired bridge mimicking natural bushland will offer recreational opportunities for people as well as habitat and a safe crossing for wildlife. Designed by CX Landscape for the city of Canberra as part of the Remaking Lost Connections design competition, “Ribbons of Life” stretches across Lake Griffin, creating a “forest shell” over the top of an existing road bridge.

Appropriately fluid and organic in shape, the bridge flows from one side of the water to the other, dipping down in some areas to touch the surface. Without affecting the traffic passing below, the new bridge also connects two parks on the north and south ends of the lake so animals have a safe way to get across. The landscaping recreates indigenous bushland, including windbreak forests on both sides, rocky areas, wetlands and a nectar meadow.

Concrete pedestrian paths wind through the park, distinct from the wildlife corridor, and include integrated solar panels to power lights, possible future transportation and the projection of Aboriginal art onto bridge surfaces. The park also includes a bird observation tower, plaza with water views, access to the water and a water life observation channel.

“Our wildlife corridor and the linear park have set an example for the future Garden City Plan action,” says CX Landscape. “It gives a new direction for sustainable city development, which raises the awareness of environmental threats, and correct the misconceptions of ‘Green represents Ecology’ and ‘Parks means Ecology.’ In respect of nature and local history, reflecting the spirit of the place, our design has established the future direction of sustainable urban development.”