In South Africa, Terraforce is often used in the upgrading of public spaces, such as in the recently completed Public Transport Hub in Athlone, Cape Town. Here Terraforce blocks were used to construct a retaining wall that functions as an access ramp and provides informal seating for recreational games that are played on the square after hours.
In Canada, a similar upgrade was completed in the city of Williams Lake in British Columbia, where the Terraforce retaining wall system was used to re-establish a communal square. The Province of British Columbia introduced what it called the “Spirit Square Program” in 2008, offering communities in the province an incentive and an opportunity to revitalise existing squares or to create new places where people could gather and hold events. Communities could apply for funding of up to C$500 000, and they were required to provide some of the funds for their proposed projects themselves.
Williams Lake applied for funding to upgrade the city’s Courthouse Square – with a new retaining wall, seating terraces, landscaping components and other elements. The Courthouse Square had been the site of the original provincial courthouse until it was demolished in the early 1970s. The open land then served as a parking lot and a place where people could gather for special events.
Once the application for funding was granted, Van der Zalm and Associates Landscape Architects developed a proposal for the overall design, including the landscaping and retaining wall. Terraforce appointed licensee in British Columbia, Blocksrus, tendered successfully for the project. The concrete works were undertaken by a local contractor and, starting in mid-2009, the overall project was completed in mid-2010.