Open spaces (Encyclopedia of Environmental Issues, Revised Edition)
The inclusion of open spaces is often mandated by municipalities on newly developed tracts of land to encourage more efficient use of land and more flexible development practices that respect and conserve natural resources. Many municipalities require that more than 10 percent of each tract of land be dedicated as open space. When large tracts of land are developed for cluster residential housing, municipalities may require that 40 to 60 percent of these areas be made available as open space. Land designated as open spaces can take the form of lawns, natural areas, recreational areas, croplands or pasturelands, or stormwater management areas.
A lawn is a grassed area with or without trees that may be used by residents for a variety of purposes; such areas are mowed regularly to ensure a neat and tidy appearance. Natural areas are open spaces in which native or natural vegetation has been left undisturbed during construction and land development. Occasionally, natural areas are created after development through the grading and replanting of land that was disturbed during development. Often, natural areas must be maintained by designated authorities. Maintenance tasks in such areas include preventing the proliferation of undesirable plants; clearing litter, dead trees, and brush; and keeping streams freely flowing. Pathways or walking trails may be constructed within natural areas to provide places where local residents may enjoy mild...
(The entire section is 392 words.)
Further Reading (Encyclopedia of Environmental Issues, Revised Edition)
Erickson, Donna. MetroGreen: Connecting Open Space in North American Cities. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2006.
Schmidt, Stephan. “The Evolving Relationship Between Open Space Preservation and Local Planning Practice.” Journal of Planning History 7, no. 2 (2008): 91-112.
Van Rooijen, Maurits. “Open Space, Urban Planning, and the Evolution of the Green City.” In Urban Planning in a Changing World: The Twentieth Century Experience, edited by Robert Freestone. New York: Routledge, 2000.
(The entire section is 66 words.)