Mapping of greenbelt’s functions in European metropolitan areas.

Authors and Affiliations: 

Agata Cieszewska

Department of Landscape Architecture, Warsaw University of Life Sciences

Joanna Adamczyk

Faculty of Forestry, Warsaw University of Life Sciences


Green belts are commonly applied planning tools to protect open spaces and limit the urban sprawl within metropolitan areas. These areas fulfill different functions: economic, environmental and social. Main greenbelt’s functions could be understood according to ecosystem goods and services as: production and carrier, regulation, cultural and habitat, where production and carrier reflect the agricultural and forestry production as well as mining, regulation is related to climate and water regulations as air exchange, erosion and flood protection, cultural and amenity functions has been recognized here as outdoor recreation benefits and the habitat is associated with refugium for wildlife and ecological connectivity and also nature protection. The study presents the result of greenbelt functions mapping within 10 European metropolitan areas. Chosen metro areas had declared application of various greenbelt like instruments to protect open spaces as: greenbelts, green wedges and green heart: London, Manchester, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen, Frankfurt and green heart of Randstad.  In our work we analyze the spatial ranges of these areas in the standardized distance of 20 km from the border of the dense urban areas, to avoid the dependency of the administrative divisions. Function’s indicators were considered, according to the literature on mapping landscape functions (de Groot 2007, Koschke et al. 2012, Syrbe et al. 2012, Young et al. 2012). The comparison of spatial arrangement of greenbelt’s functions has been based on specific configuration of the land use/land cover and other characteristics as relief and nature protection. The statistical analysis was performed in order to identify the specific character of functions spatial distribution and proportion between them. The results of the study show how the goals to create such planning tools reflect the landscape structure. Also the relations between green belt functions and the spatial policy in metropolitan areas may be identified. 


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