Green Landscapes in the European City, 1750–2010  book cover
1st Edition

Green Landscapes in the European City, 1750–2010

ISBN 9781472464392
Published January 6, 2017 by Routledge
246 Pages 77 Color & 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Green space is a fundamental concept for understanding modern and contemporary urban society, shedding light not only on the ecological development of cities but also societal relations, urban governance and planning processes. Closely linked to issues of environmental change, changing perceptions of nature, urban well-being and social integration, as well as city economic competitiveness and branding, it is an important element both in the internationalisation of European cities, and the forging of their distinctive communal identities.

Building upon recent research on the history of green landscapes in the city in Europe and North America, this volume mirrors the burgeoning global attention to urban green space developments from city policy-makers and planners, architects, climatologists, ecologists, geographers and other social scientists. Taking case studies from Paris, London, Berlin, Helsinki, and other leading centres, the volume examines when, why, and how green landscapes evolved in major cities, and the extent to which they have been shaped by shared external forces as well as by distinctive and specific local needs. Quantifying green space trends in this way raises important issues of classification and categorisation of the different varieties of urban green space. While urban parks have received considerable coverage, many other smaller, less prestigious, spaces have been largely ignored. This volume argues that green landscapes can only be properly understood when the full range of spaces from parks to recreation grounds, housing areas, allotments and domestic gardens is taken into account. Adopting a broader approach to urban green space helps put European developments during the 19th and 20th centuries into a global perspective.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Notes on Contributors



1 Introduction

Peter Clark

City Trends

2 Vegetation and Green Spaces in Paris: A Spatial Approach

Jean Luc Pinol

3 London’s Green Spaces in the Late Twentieth Century – The Rise and Decline of Municipal Policies

Matti O. Hannikainen

4 Outdoor Recreation and Green Space in Helsinki and Dublin, c. 1965 – 1985: A Transnational Comparison

Suvi Talja

Varieties of Green Space

5 Impacts of Residential Infilling on Private Gardens in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area

Anna Ojala, Jari Niemelä, and Vesa Yli-Pelkonen

6 The Right to the Garden: Allotments and the Politics of Urban Green Space in Sweden

Jennifer Mack and Justin Scherma Parscher

7 Green Space in Socialist and Post-socialist Zagreb

Valentina Gulin Zrnić

8 In Antwerp, the Birds Cough in the Morning’: Green Space Activism in a Time of Urban Flight: The Case of Post-War Antwerp

Bart Tritsmans


9 The Urban Politics of Nature: Two Centuries of Green Spaces in Berlin 1800–2014

Dorothee Brantz

10 Immigrants and Green Space in the Helsinki Region

Niko Lipsanen

11 Women Landscape Planners and Green Space: Sweden 1930–1970

Catharina Nolin

12 Urban Green Space in a Globalising World

Peter Clark

13 Epilogue: How Green is Your City? Transnational and Local Perspectives on Urban Green Spaces

Marjaana Niemi


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Peter Clark, Emeritus Professor of European Urban History, University of Helsinki, Finland and Visiting Professor, University of Leicester, UK.

Marjaana Niemi, Professor of History, University of Tampere, Finland.

Catharina Nolin, Associate Professor of Art History, University of Stockholm, Sweden.


Green Spaces in the European City: 1750-2010 follows on the successful publication of European City and Green Space: London, Stockholm, Helsinki and St Petersburg (2006) and Sport, Recreation and Green Space in the European City (2009). Richly illustrated with many useful plates and figures, the essays touch upon a wide variety of subjects, including green spaces, recreation, private gardens, allotments, green activism, immigrants, and women planners. Geographically expansive, this new book ranges over Paris, London, Helsinki, Dublin, Berlin, Antwerp, Zagreb, and cities in Sweden. Concluding chapters examine green space in a globalizing world and transnational/local issues. Each essay offers a fresh approach to a central topic influencing urban growth and development in Europe and beyond.

Martin V. Melosi, author of The Sanitary City, University of Texas, USA