European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research -

COST Action C11

INDEX

Glossary - Definitions of Greenstructure and Urban Planning terms

Some first definitions for the words listed in the table below; this is meant to make you react and make improvements - let's start a debate!!

Definitions and national data

Greenspace

Patterns of Greenspace

The composition of Urban Greenspace

Greenstructure

Greenstucture Planning

Munich's Greenspace study - summary, facts and figures

Sheffield's Greenspaces - facts and figures

The planning system and greenspace in Germany

The planning system and Greenspace in Poland

To add your own definitions or ideas just email me and I shall add them to these pages.

Greenspace

Anne Beer - UK

Greenspace - Greenspaces are "places" within and around the city - these "places" carry human activity as well as plants, wildlife and water and their presence influences quality of life, as well as the quality of air and water.

  • Through the flora and fauna they support, Greenspaces are crucial to the survival of any level of biodiversity across a city.
  • Greenspaces have a measurable impact on local as well as city-wide air quality and can ameliorate the temperature within a city.
  • By providing "natural" places through which water runs and within which it can be stored, Greenspaces can have an impact on water quality and on surface flows and, therefore, on the reduction of local flood hazard.
  • Greenspaces provide settings for a wide range of human activity and, therefore, influence people's perception of their quality of life.
  • In addition, Greenspaces have a profound influence on how local people and visitors experience a city.

It can be argued that Greenspaces are essential to the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of life in all urban areas.

See below for a diagram indicating the composition of urban Greenspace within a city.

Ann Caroll Werquin -FR

The term is not common in France, to me it is similar to "green system", which is a term I frequently use

Greenspaces do exist by themselves, greenstructure is part of the image of the city or of places within or around the city. It is the alive body of it dealing with vegetal life and natural moves (light, sky, birds, squarrels ...) , such as inhabitants are the society part of it, …

Stephan Pauleit -D

Urban Greenstructure encompasses all urban open spaces, from designated public to private open spaces (residential, commercial, industrial and services), incl. accessory urban open spaces, e.g. along roads and railway lines. A comprehensive definition of urban greenstructure is important as open spaces which are non vegetated (not green) may also have important functions for recreation, environmental improvement, wildlife and urban character. For instance, railway lines may serve as corridors for fresh air and wildlife.

Lucia Martincigh-I

URBAN OPEN SPACES: SPAZI URBANI APERTI

I would like to add this definition. In Italy, "Urban open spaces" are not only "Parks and Playing fields" (in reference to Anne's note for the urban ecologist in Belgium, point b), but also, and above all, squares and streets; they are not only designated officially, but defined also unofficially; the greenspace in public use is a specific category: public parks and gardens .

I like the sketch of "greenspace" but I think it should be put in a wider model. I think we should start from the wider framework: "Urban open (or outdoor) spaces" and then specify how our study inserts itself in it. These spaces could be aggregated in three main categories: greenspaces, paved spaces with green, paved spaces or better "stone spaces" (Corrado Beguinot); since many studies have already been run on the public, outdoor, urban space, above all on the "stone" one and on the paved one, our study focuses on the role of the other two, either public or private ones, since the effect of the green on the level of urban life quality derives also from the presence of private green spaces. Then we can find a justification for inserting the "limit space" inside the definition of "greenspace", as it has before been inserted in the "stone" one, I think.

I think indeed it is very important already, in the theoric approach, to treat at once the urban space as a continuity among its various specifications, in this case: green spaces/stone ones, but also indoor/outdoor, vehicular mobility/non motorized one etc.

So I agree with Stephan to find "a comprehensive definition of urban greenstructure" taking into consideration also "open spaces that are not vegetated", that is why I think we have to insert our topic in the wider one, taking in account the study already run in the field, and declaring our focus, if we don't want to study also those without green. Personally I think we could study also them, but not as a main goal, but as interference with our specific topic.

 

GREENSPACES: SPAZI VERDI

(What are they?) They are "places" characterized by the presence of a vegetable environment, with water and wildlife, that can host human activity.

(How are they?) The specific nature features, the dimensions and morphology, the different ratio between the green environment and the human one, are some of the elements that determine the different typologies of greenspaces.

(Where are they?) They can be located both inside and outside the urban developments, and as a fringe; the location can weight on the determination of different types of greenspace.

(What is their use?) They can play many roles and so they can improve the quality of life of the urban settlement in many ways, acting directly on the urban environment or on the way of life of the people:

* offering to dwellers a space to perform the various different activities they demand;

* providing a way to increase the direct knowledge of natural life, and of exercising the five senses;

* improving the thermal, visual, acoustic comfort of people in different seasons and situations;

* improving the attractiveness of the urban structure by their integration with its other characterizing components;

* diminishing the cesura between nature and artifice, contryside and city;

* providing a better control of environment decay.

 

P.S.

To make a comparison with France. In Italy, up to now, it has been spoken more of "greenspaces" than of "greensystem"; the latter, in my opinion, is in some way a synonym of "greenstructure", being the "structure" a "system" in itself, for its meaning definition (at least in the italian language).

 

Klaus Wagner

In Austria we have 9 different planning-acts in the "Bundesländer" (provinces) so we have no common definitions for the terms, they vary a little in their concrete meanings.

 

Greenspace

In Austria the notion greenspace is not a legal term but in the common planning language it is used for all non-built up areas within and around the cities which carry all sorts of human activities more or less in connection with the open air and determined by plants or are inaccessible due to nature protection as well (allotment, cemetary, park, stadium, nature protection area ...). Open space icludes also agricultural areas ...

 

Kestutis Zaleckis

Green space - a natural or seminatural open space in a city.

To add your own definitions or ideas just email Anne Beer.


Definitions and national data

Greenspace

Patterns of Greenspace

The composition of Urban Greenspace

Greenstructure

Greenstucture Planning

Munich's Greenspace study - summary, facts and figures

Sheffield's Greenspaces - facts and figures

The planning system and greenspace in Germany

The planning system and Greenspace in Poland

Patterns of Greenspace - for a mixture of natural environmental (mainly topographical) and historic reasons, cities can have differing patterns of Greenspace.

Patterns of Greenspace

Anne Beer - UK

 

  • Linear Greenspaces - in some cities many of the major Greenspaces form long, linked spaces. These have occurred
    - organically, for instance, where a river valley was too steep-sided to allow buildings to be located on its edges, so that the unbuilt spaces gradually became parkland (as can be seen in Sheffield)
    - in a planned fashion, where a town planner decided that a long parkway added to the attractiveness and usefulness of his urban design ( as seen in Boston, Mass.)
    - for reasons of historic accident , where linked Greenspaces have been formed in place of the old city walls (as in Frankfurt am Main).
    Road, canal and rail corridors also form linear Greenspaces through a city and often support a wide range of plant and animal species.
  • Islands of Greenspace - in other cities Greenspaces are seen as "islands", occurring where parks or other open spaces were planned as a city grew, or where spaces were left over after planning and labelled "incidental spaces" on the plan (often of no use or interest to anyone), or where buildings have been cleared temporarily or permanently and nature has tried to reassert itself. These islands of Greenspace can vary from a few square metres in size to major segments of a city.
  • No or few Greenspaces - many small cities and historic cities have few Greenspaces in their core areas. In earlier times, when cities were small and laid out for pedestrians to use, people could often walk out into the surrounding fields and woods within twenty minutes, so there was little need for Greenspaces. In such cities hard surfaced squares and streets form the outdoor areas; in some cases these are supplemented by small Greenspaces in the form of "islands" of well vegetated gardens, often hidden from public view as they are totally surrounded by buildings (as in Leuven, Belgium).
  • Girdles of Greenspace - these comprise areas of Greenspace designed and managed for recreational or other land uses as required by the individual city, or they can be composed of a mix of agricultural land, woodland (sometimes as in Örebro in Sweden, used for growing biomass for the city), or water storage areas. In some instances such areas are designated as Green Belts by the planners.
  • The domestic garden as Greenspace - domestic gardens have been neglected as an element in the city - in many cities they form a very major component of the Greenspace, often occuring across the whole city.
  • Mixed patterns - in most cities there is a mixture of the above patterns of open space - the result of historic changes in attitude and planning ideas, as well as of funding regimes.

Lucia Martincigh-I

PATTERNS OF GREENSPACE: MODELLI DI SPAZIO VERDE

We can speak of "patterns" in many way, so we have to decide which one to choose; the one Ann chose is analysing the reasons for which they were created; that is one way, and I think is very important, and needed, to understand the phenomenon and to find a new effective policy.

Personally, I will try to propose also another way, aimed more at the planning of a system and at the design of the various elements of the system. Obviously I will give only an idea of it, because it needs some work to do to be appropriately defined; I think indeed it could be one of the objects of the Working packages.

From having explained before how the "greenspaces" can be of many types, it descends that they can be classified in many different ways depending on the parameters that are considered:

* geometry: unidimensional (linear, that is along the paths and streets, roads or railways, rivers, canals etc.), bidimensional (as a plane, that is fields, urban gardens or orchards, with grass extension, flower or vegetable beds, shrubs, small trees) and tridimensional (as a volume, that is a park , a wood, a forest);

* dimensions: small (street furniture, flower beds, single elements, spots, patches, private front or back gardens etc.), medium (public urban gardens in squares and widenings, domestic gardens etc.), large (villas, public parks, botanical gardens, cemeteries - mostly the old ones, in Italy - zoo, woods etc.);

* destinations in planning: agricoltural land, green areas, green belts, national heritage gardens (alive monument), natural reserve, integral reserve, clear zones, infrastructure and services, recreational areas, sport areas, spa resorts, property regime: public, private, etc.;

* structure: "islands", network, type of system, etc.

* people presence: low, medium high, continuous, seldom, rare, etc.

* role in the urban structure: density control, hygene, perspective, decoration, leysure etc.

* and to be found many more .....

 

Each classification brings in itself different environmental consequences, different models of design ( french or italian garden, english garden, modern garden, playgrounds, life paths, outdoor public spaces etc.) and of use (walking, resting, meeting, reading, chatting, playing and sporting (what use?) etc.

 

To add your own definitions or ideas just email Anne Beer

 

 


Definitions and national data

Greenspace

Patterns of Greenspace

The composition of Urban Greenspace

Greenstructure

Greenstucture Planning

Munich's Greenspace study - summary, facts and figures

Sheffield's Greenspaces - facts and figures

The planning system and greenspace in Germany

The planning system and Greenspace in Poland

© A.R.Beer and COSTC11 research group, 2000

To add your own definitions or ideas just email Anne Beer


The functions of urban open spaces

Stephan Pauleit-D

The criteria for the assessment of the performance of urban open spaces may be sorted into these broad categories. Economy could be added as a further dimension.

Urban site requirements means the different conditions for urban green spaces in European cities and towns, e.g. climatic regimes, socio-cultural background, history, economic frame conditions.

 

 

Assessment of the performance of urban open spaces

Definitions and national data

Greenspace

Patterns of Greenspace

The composition of Urban Greenspace

Greenstructure

Greenstucture Planning

Munich's Greenspace study - summary, facts and figures

Sheffield's Greenspaces - facts and figures

The planning system and greenspace in Germany

The planning system and Greenspace in Poland

Greenstructure

Anne Beer - UK

This word is not used in the UK planning systems. However, in urban planning literature Greenstructure has been used to allow the development of concepts relating to the role of a city's Greenspaces in the planning, designing and management of urban areas. There is a noticeable lack of planning theory in relation to the overall role of Greenspace in cities; instead only specific Greenspaces with specific attributes have been considered by the planning process in the UK (i.e. public parks, historic urban gardens and recreational open spaces). In the planning literature (at least in English) there is a lack of discussion about how a proper consideration and understanding of the function of Greenspaces might influence the future spatial planning of urban areas.

I take Greenstructure to be concerned with the organisational aspects of a city's Greenspaces - how such spaces are best planned, designed and managed in relation to the other land uses of a city.

Ann Caroll Werquin -FR

Greenstructure is for me a different concept than greenspaces, containing the idea of an interaction between built part of an urban context and at the same time signs of Nature.

Studying greenstructure includes a consideration of a city's greenspaces and other urban spaces (public or private) with concentrations of vegatation but also pays attention to how natural elements are valued in the place under consideration(it therefore deals with social, ecological and economic issues…)

Is Greenstructure only colored in green ? Probably not, because it brings together for me porous soils (earth, sand) blue lines (rivers, canals…) and topography… etc. making a whole.

Which urban spaces are parts of Greenstructure ?: this may be a question of interest for our group. Trying once to make a literature list about " greenways ", I found in American author Roxanne Warren Mc Graw book " The Urban oasis, guideways and greenways to the human environment " (1997) lots of cases of pedestrian zones, which while giving a different rhythm to a walk within the city are not "ecologically sound" places. We will need to decide whether we include these non ecologically sound spaces as part of green structure?

Greenstructure is for me more linked with ecology taking a leading part, limitting pollution and water problems (Boston as said Anne…) being protected from noise…

Bjorn Malbert -SW

Green Structure is to me a concept that tries to grasp the functions and values of urban green resources as well as their spatial dimensions. In the Swedish context it is launched as an attempt to better integrate green issues in urban land use planning and urban design.

Broadly, we can discuss at least four dimensions of the green structure concept:

 

The spatial dimension: All land of the urban landscape that is neither covered nor sealed including for instance parks, play grounds, sport fields, allotments, private gardens, green spaces of housing districts, industrial properties as well as along streets and railroads.

 

The ecological dimension: Flora and fauna and their habitats. Urban climate. Technical support systems.

 

The cultural dimension: History, identity, green as design elements.

 

The social dimension: Recreation, health, leisure and pedagogical

meaning.

 

The Swedish experience so far is that the concept of Green Structure have been useful to empower green issues at least at the level of structural planning, but there is a strong need of better concepts and design principles for the detailed levels of planning, beyond this broad concept.

Sybrand Tjallingii -NL

The COST C11 Memorandum of Understanding describes the concept of greenstructure as follows:

"As a field of research, 'greenstructure and urban planning' is concerned with the spatial structure of green areas in the urban landscape and with all planning activities that are essential to create conditions for green areas to perform their vital role for the quality of urban life. The concept of 'greenstructure' is used to indicate the position of green areas in the urban landscape. As such 'greenstructure' has spatial, social and technical dimensions. The latter is sometimes referred to as 'green infrastructure'. 'Greenstructure', however, is also a planning concept, indicating the intention to develop planning and management tools for a structural role of green areas in the urban fabric and the urban organization. In this context the proposed COST action is not in the first place concerned with greenstructures as a technical object. Rather, greenstructures are seen in a problem and opportunity perspective. Research in this perspective includes both empirical and normative aspects.

Problems of green areas are related to intensive use, building activities, fragmentation by roads, pollution, noise and other forms of pressure imposed on green areas and open space in the existing cities. On the edge of the city there is increased pressure of suburbanization and traffic on surrounding greenbelts. In many cases, green areas are small and scattered. In some cases, however, greenstructure is seen as an opportunityÝ: 'green fingers' or 'greenways' are turned to backbones of urban development. As there is always some relation to the landscape underlying the urban history, green areas may significantly contribute to the identity of a neighbourhood, a city or an urban region. Cities have developed experiences in addressing these problems and using these opportunities. The proposed COST action will promote the exchange and evaluation of these experiences.

Experiences include urban planning issues like approaches to disperse suburban growth, corridor concepts and 'compact city' strategies. They also include approaches to communication and decision making, to public-private partnerships, to the real estate and housing market, to technical infrastructure planning and to urban design. The participating researchers and planners may learn from a comparison and assessment of conceptual tools and operational methods used in different cities.

To many citizens green areas are for recreation and sports, but the city's greenstructure also may improve air quality and mesoclimate, it may contribute to biodiversity, it may perform water retention functions and create attractive cycle tracks. The multifunctional nature of greenstructures clearly shows their potential role in ecologically sound and sustainable urban development."

Lucia Martincigh-I

GREENSTRUCTURE: STRUTTURA VERDE

If I open up the word, I can say structure of the green, and if the word green=greenspaces, then I can say: structure of the greenspaces; with this expression I mean not only the elements that constitute the greenspace in itself (vegetation, water, animals, natural materials etc.), but above all how the various greenspaces are shaped on their whole, in relation to the concepts of distribution and of organization, to form a system of greenspaces.

If this is the right meaning to be given to the expression, then the situation in Italy about the subject is similar to the english one. It has to be pointed out though that, at cultural level, the approach exists, and some first plans have tried to face it, also if not so much inside the city as in its outskirts or in connection with something outside the city.

 

Case studies

· Zandonella Necca D., Ziman Scudo K., "La greenway della battaglia di Pavia", in Ambiente Costruito, n.1, january/march 2000;

· Scudo, G. "Una nuova alleanza tra natura e tecnologia", in Ambiente Costruito, n. 4 october/december 1999;

· Antoniacci F., "Sulla via dei Romei. Il parco di Teodocrico a Ravenna", in Paesaggio Urbano, n. 4, july/august, 1999;

· Fabio Armillotta, "Concorso per idee per la progettazione di un parco urbano a Misano Adriatico, in Paesaggio Urbano, n. 4, july/august, 1999;

· AA,VV, "Contratti di Quartiere - Padova", in Ambiente Costruito, n.4 october/december 1999;

 

At the cultural level, the need for the creation of a green system is felt as it is felt the need to create a pedestrian dedicated network; the two aspects have close links, and in my opinion they should be kept in mind in suggesting an integrated approach to their planning and design. All the places that guest pedestrians, and if not possible most of them, should be planned also as greenspaces, just because they can offer a comfortable and healthy environment for people.

So it is possible to arrive to say that an urban greenstructure will offer a variety of greenspaces, from sanctuaries to paved spaces with some green; from places where the man's presence is rare, to the ones where it is very high, from large areas of park to small patches of grass that punctuate the, in some way green, links of the system, etc.

In the case of Rome, for example, a citizens association is moving under this slogan: "To defend Rome environmental heritage. To strengthen the network of parks that are equipped and open to citizens". They ask that the local Administration increases the greenspaces network that is equipped and usable by citizens.

In Italian cities, up to now, interventions aimed at improving greenspaces supply have been targeted to create more or less natural "islands" of different kinds. The use of this tool and the lack of putting together such interventions arose a new kind of "zoning", devastating, in some way, the continuous character of the city. The same phenomenon has characterized the approach to the pedestrian mobility dedicated spaces, too.

In order to safeguard the urban continuity, the city must be thought on its whole, organizing its urban spaces so to allow the coexistence among the different kinds of mobility, the simultaneously presence of various activities, and the mix (with different nuances) between pedestrian use and green elements, foreshadowing a sequence of more little green areas , mixed together, and supported by, controlled routes.

In Italy, for instance, the "Environmental Island" tool, as outlined by traffic plan rules, considers a residential area (surrounded by the main roads network and formed by local roads only), aimed at upgrading the urban spaces livability; such policy sets pedestrians, and thence their requirements, in the center of the mobility design of these areas and, by reducing cars speed and amount, allows to increase the spaces dedicated to them, to re-design them and to equip them so to improve the environmental quality; to this aim, green plays a priority role.

"Green islands", such as paved spaces with green, greenspaces, parks and garden are already present, in different quantity, in our cities; in order to guarantee their continuity and integration, they must be connected in a network system, with "stone spaces" too inserted in it , so to create a greenstructure.

To the need of keeping on continuity among the different zones (of mainly urban or of mainly natural character), within urban and semiurban areas, it can be answered also in a different way, i.e. creating "ecological corridors" able to ensure the passing and the movement of flora and fauna from a system to another, and guaranteeing the "health" of the territory, meant as an ecosystem . These "passages" are mainly constituted by vegetation; they can be also formed by simple road underways that allow animals crossing, or by wooded zones, set at a suitable distance, dedicated to the birds rest, or also by clear zones along watercourses, where flora and fauna can develop without interferences. In particular, by facing the possibility of "fluidifying" the passage from the built areas to the natural ones, both in small urban centers and in metropolitan outskirts, the contribution given by biological cultivations can be considered; indeed, in such cultivations, the used treatments, besides not being harmful for dwellers, have a reduced impact, allowing, consequently, the optimum development of the surrounding natural environment.

Thence, it is interesting to analyze the compatibility between the two approaches, and how much of them could be planned in continuity.

 

Klaus Wagner

Greenstructure

The word is not used in the official planning systems but in the language of planners etc. in the sense of conceptual considerations and is a more abstract notion as greenspace and in connection with considerations about whole systems

 

Kestutis Zaleckis

Greenstructure - a system of greenspaces in a city. It can perform some additional functions as a system, besides the functions performed by single green areas.

Functions of greenstructure should help to reach desired quality of urban environment.

 

Urban environment must satisfy all needs of human beings. These needs could be divided into main groups: physiological, psychological, social, economical. The traditional idea is that green areas should help to assure some ecological, hygienical and recreational qualities for their surroundings. Besides that as a system of green areas it can help to satisfy the very important need of humans - to live in a preferred space. It could be done at the entire city level. The impact of preferred space on behavior of human beings and the actual qualities are investigated by environmental psychology.

 

Connections between the actual qualities of preferred urban space and the greenstructure:

 

1. Environment should not produce stress by visual signals that we receive. That's the field investigated by videourboecology. It is known that typical urban space (direct lines, right angles, gray colors, big planes, static field and etc.) reduces spontaneous attention. This makes people to feel negative stress. The typical natural environment (not direct lines, different angles, many colored, small planes, etc.) makes the contrary influence. The negative influence of urban environment could be softened by changing its characteristics, but it could not be eliminated this way. That could be the function of greenstructure all over a city.

 

2. Coherence and legibility. These properties are related with each other and should be examined together. Coherence means that all parts of city are perceived as an entire complex. It depends on ability to draw a mental map of a whole city into imagination and on some qualities of that map as well. According to K.Lynch, this map is constructed from the spatial elements: paths, edges, districts, nodes and landmarks. Together these elements make some kind of spatial network. Legibility - possibility to recognize these elements of spatial network in urban environment.

 

What do we need for urban space to make it coherent ant legible? We need two things: the continuous spatial network all over a city and "readable" elements of this network into urban environment. How can greenstructure help to assure that?

 

The three main problems that are met in Lithuanian cities and the possible solutions:

* Different conditions of observation. People are using different kinds of traffic for moving through a city - car, public transport and pedestrian ways. Each kind of transports makes its own autonomous network of ways. No one network covers all urban area. Result - we have many different mental maps of one city. Greenstructure is a continuous system of spaces. It can help to solve that problem by covering all area of city and creating conditions for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

* The new living areas ((50% of urbanized area in the largest cities) are designed in free form in Lithuania. Result - we have not the recognizable elements of the spatial network. These areas are chaotic, formless and shapeless. It is difficult for people to imagine and remember these parts of the cities. Greenstructure can help to solve this problem by creating some parts of the spatial network - boundaries, dominants and ways.

* We have not the continuous spatial network in our cities. This problem is an outcome of the two mentioned above and can be solved together with the above mentioned problems.

 

3. Complexity - sufficient number of space types in a city. Monotony of urban areas is a common problem for post soviet countries. Greenstructure with the variety of space types could make the situation better.

 

4. Mysteriousness - it is some degree of instability, changeability, chaotization of environment (in positive meaning of the term). In European culture a city always was understood as order and stability. Nature - as chaos. It is in European mentality. So only greenstructure can add this characteristic to a whole city.

 

I think that creation of preferred space in a city should be considered as an important function of greenstructure. We should take into consideration that greenstructure will help to form and create the city image as well. It is true because the qualities of coherence, complexity and mysteriousness are directly applied to the image of city. The urban structure as the whole complex could be perceived conceptually only and when we are speaking about the qualities of urban environment - in many cases we have in mind qualities of the city image.

Gunilla Lindholm (Sw)

I suggest a definition of greenstructure with three faces:

One is an object - the pattern, contents and composition of the sum of vegetation, non-paved soil and non-tubed water (including the different qualities for the whole and for the separate places and elements) in urban areas.

Two is an action - "to structure in a green way", i. e. to structure urban areas (green or not green) for sustainable development.

Three is change - the spatio-temporal variations of the relations between structures and elements in various scale, over time.

I believe (or hope) thoughts to occur in minds, when trying to see these faces at the same time, or change between them.

To add your own definitions or ideas just email Anne Beer


Definitions and national data

Greenspace

Patterns of Greenspace

The composition of Urban Greenspace

Greenstructure

Greenstucture Planning

Munich's Greenspace study - summary, facts and figures

Sheffield's Greenspaces - facts and figures

The planning system and greenspace in Germany

The planning system and Greenspace in Poland

Greenstructure Planning

Anne Beer - UK

The concept of Greenstructure Planning has been adopted in some northern European countries (notably Norway and the Netherlands) as a means of linking consideration of the quality of life in the present day city to the presence or absence of Greenspaces and the special and varying qualities of such spaces. Greenstructure Planning is a mechanism which deals with how a city's Greenspaces might be planned in a spatial sense, and then how they might best be designed, managed and maintained for the benefit of the local population. These benefits include the use of Greenspaces as follows:

  • as support for the development and maintenance of biodiversity in urban areas
  • as places to support the local management of water quality and flows
  • as places which contribute towards cleaning the particulates out of the air and which help to reduce the urban "heat island" effect
  • as places to support the recreational and experiential requirements of local people and visitors to a city
  • as places which increase the economic attractiveness of a city (for instance through influencing the decision- making processes of entrepreneurs seeking new locations for businesses, or tourist deciding where to visit).

A properly functioning urban Greenstructure is as important to the quality of life of urban dwellers as a city's Infrastructure* and needs to be recognised as such by the planning system.

 

*Physical Infrastructure is taken to mean the network of buildings and the associated communication, utility and material supplies needed for these to function as supports for a city's economic and social infrastructure.

I have expanded on this in the UK context a draft paper which Is available for comment on this internet site

Ann Caroll Werquin -FR

In my opinion - there is much need to investigate the concept of "Planning greenstructure" now.

Because the new urban settlements in France and elsewhere have strarted changing from the patterns in the two last decades - the idea of the " urban" city has come into fashion and at the expense of the "villagey" or "lanscaped" city (which was using lots of hedgerows…). Green surplus is disappearing fast.

There is a need to work out how ecological purpose can be supported with patterns of green structure styrong enough to withstand the growth of concentrate planned urban areas .

We need examples of where greenstructure has been successfully introduced so bettering recent urban development projects and also of projects where the greenstructure fits with the aims of urban design solutions which aim to save land. This seems to me a realm of research in which gathering materials would be very useful.

Stephan Pauleit - D

What are the main challenges for urban greenstructure?

A distinction may be made between challenges for urban greenstructure by urban development in the city and the city region which have a characteristic configuration of built spaces and greenstructure and a specific set of strength/ opportunities and weaknesses/ threats. These were identified in the Munich Case Study - see diagram

• Inner city: historic cores and closed multistorey blocks from the 19th and early 20th century

Challenges: overall low cover/ deficits of public open spaces; deficit and low quality of private open spaces, e.g. in backyards; threats to heritage of historical gardens and parks: need to preserve, regenerate and manage.

• Transition zone: mix of different land uses/ settlement types. The transition zone is often the result of quick and uncoordinated growth since the 1950. Moderate dynamics.

Challenges: managing infill development on private open spaces (housing, commercial areas), restoration of derelict land; improving access to open spaces; upgrading of open spaces on the grounds of public housing, shopping centres and in industrial areas, conservation of overall high biodiversity.

• Urban fringe: predominantly agriculture/ forestry

Challenges: improving access to the land (agriculture, institutional land) and pathways from the city; accommodating urban development and new land uses (e.g. housing, retail centres and business parks; recreation facilities); upgrading of farmland (biodiversity, landscape character)

• City region: Urban pressure zone:

Challenges: developing a greenstructure which (re-)creates landscape identity from the chaotic mix of remnants from natural, cultural, modern farming, urban and post-industrial landscapes; which accommodates the different land users, and which is a backbone for future development. Otherwise all the challenges listed for the urban fringe.

Lucia Martincigh-I

GREENSTRUCTURE PLANNING: PIANIFICAZIONE DELLA STRUTTURA VERDE

I would divide the subject in two: planning and design, because the scale to be faced is very different, and so the decisions to be taken and the technical solutions are very different.

The planning of the greenstructure is only at city scale, and so in some way gives the general directions and the main goals to fulfil through a general plan. It is connected to a bird eye view, and to the general balance of the city needs, under the point of view of the city's life quality on its whole: ratio built up area/greenspaces, ratio greenspaces/number of inhabitants, water needs, air circulation needs, pollution level, funding and managing needs etc. most of them linked to hygienic problems, taking into account the topography, the general characteristic of the lands extension that forms the city territory. This plan deals with ecological aspects, infrastructural and structural aspects, dimensions and consistency.

What Stephan has described for the Munich Case Study seems to me a good example of planning and planning general directions.

 

GREENSTRUCTURE DESIGN: PROGETTAZIONE DELLA STRUTTURA VERDE

The design deals on one side with the indications given by the general plan, on the other side with the specific situation of the considered place, with all its involved elements: space characteristics, landmarks, people, uses, culture, social composition etc. The program of intervention is defined by the general plan, the technical solutions to fulfil must be found, the approach to find them is to be chosen (the requirements/performances one ?), and it will be used to define the specific design. This design deals with the spatial and architectonic aspects, with the natural and artificial components, with the specific uses articulation, and finally with the management and maintainance programs.

 

P.S.

To make a comparison with UK, in Italy the word "infrastructure" usually has a different meaning; it is taken to mean the network of transport facilities and the network of services (water, electricity, gas, comunication etc.). The way in which the buildings are organized forms the structure of the city: in a scattered way or in a compact way.

Concentrated cities versus dispersed ones; under this point of view it is necessary again to consider different aspects not to become too partisan in our definitions; for example a city is more sustainable if it is compact, because allows for less use of motorized transport modes, and for less use of unspoiled land, and so indirectly it is also more ecological. Now it is necessary to understand how to plan and design a greenstructure for a compact city, maybe leaving the big parks on its outskirts, or .....

 

As for the final glossary, once we agree on it, I think we should find a very short sentence for every expression; probably some of the expressions here are quite difficult to be defined in few words, they sound more like topics to be deepened inthe WGs.

Klaus Wagner

Greenstructure planning

In Austria this term is not used but instead of it - and I think in the meaning of it - Greenspace planning as a part of the landscape planning at a special scale. Landscape planning is not really defined in Austria but becomes more and more established as a subject

Of regional development plans, land use plans...

 

Austrian terms (with the meaning of it):

 

Green area

Areas determined by plants and in connection with settlements (parks, playgrounds, sports etc.)

 

Greenspace system, Green zone

Greater approach of a system determined by plants with a greater functional coherence

 

Greenbelt/Greenwedge

Greenspace system in the shape of a belt or wedge

 

Greenstripe

Linear area along roads etc. with the only function of distance between different land use categories

 

Greenland

Especially agricultural used land (grassland, meadows ...)

 

 

Definitions and national data

Greenspace

Patterns of Greenspace

The composition of Urban Greenspace

Greenstructure

Greenstucture Planning

Munich's Greenspace study - summary, facts and figures

Sheffield's Greenspaces - facts and figures

The planning system and greenspace in Germany

The planning system and Greenspace in Poland

To add your own definitions or ideas just email Anne Beer

 

 

© A.R.Beer and COSTC11 research group, 2000

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