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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Danish Building Research Institute

Sustainable planning and management of green space

The study of Ringkøbing is part of a project concerning "Sustainable Planning and Management of Green Space". The aim of the project is to see whether, and how, the municipalities actually integrate environmental aspects into the planning and management of green space in the cities or on the urban fringe. "Green space" is taken to mean all areas within the urban zone which are green or not covered with buildings, roads or other paved areas. Not only the green areas highlighted in the municipal plan or in local plans are covered by the research, but also private gardens and areas around private houses, institutions, co-operative housing, industries etc. "Green areas" and "green space" are used synonomously, while "green structure" refers to a geographic pattern of green areas.

The second aim of the project is to develop a general, basic framework, which can support an ecologically sustainable urban planning and management of green space. This topic is not dealt with in this paper.

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The Danish planning system

The Danish planning system was made much more comprehensive and developed by the introduction of The Planning Act in the 1970s. The new planning system focuses intensively on green areas in the city. The municipalities now have to make plans which include a clear definition of the use of different areas and one such category is green areas. But the municipality may also give some general guidelines in the local plans for the content of common green areas within housing areas. From the start the primary goal of the municipalities was to ensure recreational opportunities.

In the past decade more efforts have been made to integrate the issues of environmental qualities in the process of planning and administration. These efforts have been associated with a general awareness of environmental problems, and also with discussions about sustainability and urban ecology raised, among others, by the Brundtland Commission in its UN report. One of the conclusions of this discussion was that a more holistic and comprehensive approach to environmental problems is needed. The Danish Planning Act was changed accordingly and environmental considerations must now be integrated more closely in the planning process and an increased focus has to be given to comprehensive planning rather than sector planning.

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