Frugality is a core notion of sustainability, and responsible resource management should be prioritized in urban planning and landscape architecture. Low-budget strategies as a deliberate means of creating valuable, attractive, well-used, sociable public spaces are recognized by some influential designers using the “Light, cheap, quick” methodology. Unused spaces, just like objects and waste, can be creatively changed, reinvented with little resource input through a circular solution of upcycling. Case study methodology was predominantly used in the inquiry with three new parks, built after the year 2004, in Faro, Portugal. The study examined how the success rate and the current state of these public green areas correlates with the amount of financial resources invested in each of the projects. The case studies show key aspects in the building of the three spaces including: urban context, management and community participation. The success rate of a place is established based on user activity observations, user counts and questionnaires—conveyed amongst both experts and local residents. Results illustrate how low-budget strategies and limited use of funds and resources can be translated into a successful project of a public greenery. Comparative studies from Warsaw and Berlin further extend the discussion to the concept of upcycling as a sustainable solution for landscape architecture.
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