Ecological Sustainability and Urban Green Space


Water Management

Landuse Planning

Waste Management

Area Resources

Habitat Quality

Urban Density and Green Structure Case Studies

Ringkøbing -DK

Stocksbridge -UK

Oslo -Forsheimer -N

Poland- Green networks -PL

Tidaholm & Trollhatten -S

Social Impacts of sustainable Housing

Oslo - city centre -N

Helsinki - Espoo -SU

Political Instruments

Norway - N

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Ringkøbing Area Resources

Purpose of research

Collecting data

Data on green space in Køge

Green space in Ringkøbing



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Compared with Køge, Ringkøbing generally has larger resources of open space in the residential areas, measured in area per dwelling. Except for the old town center there seems to be a general trend of these areas to be used for lawn rather than for planting. This is also the case for the green space of other area-use categories. As non-functional lawn, i.e. lawn which is not used for special activities, is the most readily usable area resource potentially available for ecological change, Ringkøbing generally offers good physical opportunities for new initiatives.

However, the "general design" of the different area-use categories is crucial to the actual possibilities for ecological change: The fragmentation of areas especially typical for provincial town centers and low-density developments, limits the range of ecological initiatives due to lack of available, coherent space for i.e. storm water management and tree plantings.

In existing single family house developments opportunities for change are also limited by lack of such areas. In contrast, appartment block developments typically have large available areas which are often coherent, but the potential ecological changes may be limited in these developments by the semi-public ownership, comprising organisational, economic and resident related barriers. Although area resources are limited, the private enthusiasm of some owners of in particular single family properties may enhance the local ecological value through their own initiatives. Typically this would include composting and use of biodegradable waste as well as the collection and use of storm water. In the new residential - single family and low-density - developments yet to be planned all opportunities are open; for in new areas it is still possible to design for ecological sustainability by creating common spaces of a size and coherence which will allow for a local resource management and a biodiversity which exceeds that of most present residential developments.

The institutional areas have a variation of potential. Some children's institutions have very intensively used outdoor spaces, other types of institution have plenty of lawn with no or little use. Such areas might be integrated in an ecologically more sound utilization and management. The same is true for the park category: the sports grounds have mainly functional lawns while traditional parks have little. The old park of Ringkøbing - Alkjaer Lukke demonstrates clearly, that parks may benefit from handling storm water and green waste locally while simultaniously supporting the biodiversity and the recreational opportunities. It is a prime example of the synergetic effect which may be obtained by integrating uses.

The old town centre has little available space. However, the industrial areas have plenty of unused space. In extent, it is second in size only to the single family house areas with an estimated 71 ha of mainly lawn with hardly any planted areas. The industrial zones contain some of the largest most coherent parts of the built up area. Seen at a larger scale these areas constitute a substantial part of the coherent areas of the municipality. Consequently, it seems obvious to aim at the industrial areas in any attempt to improve the ecological sustainability of the urban area of Ringkøbing, both in connection with planning of new areas and improving existing areas.

Ringkøbing has available space in all area-use categories except for the old town centre, the total of which is suffient to manage all resource flows locally, i.e. either at structure zone or - at least - at town level. The (hydro)geological and other conditions set no limits; only the actual area "design" may physically limit the choice of urban ecological initiatives due to fragmentation of areas. Analysis of existing systems and practices of water, waste and green space management, biodiversity and recreational opportunities and of organisational, cooperational and other relevant matters will be the next steps in developing a strategy for an improved sustainable development of Ringkøbing, including the potential of green spaces.



© 1998 Karen Attwell, Danish Building Research Institute, Housing and Urban Planning Research