Next Article in Journal
Actors, Scales and Spaces Dynamics Linked to Groundwater Resources use for Agriculture Production in Haouaria Plain, Tunisia. A Territory Game Approach
Next Article in Special Issue
Vegetation Structure, Species Composition, and Carbon Sink Potential of Urban Green Spaces in Nagpur City, India
Previous Article in Journal
A Clear Past and a Murky Future: Life in the Anthropocene on the Pampana River, Sierra Leone
Previous Article in Special Issue
Gentrification through Green Regeneration? Analyzing the Interaction between Inner-City Green Space Development and Neighborhood Change in the Context of Regrowth: The Case of Lene-Voigt-Park in Leipzig, Eastern Germany
Open AccessOpinion

Lawns in Cities: From a Globalised Urban Green Space Phenomenon to Sustainable Nature-Based Solutions

1
School of Design, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Perth, WA 6001, Australia
2
Department of Geography, Humboldt University Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany
3
Department of Comp. Landscape Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research—UFZ, Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
4
Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research—UFZ, Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 January 2020 / Revised: 21 February 2020 / Accepted: 27 February 2020 / Published: 2 March 2020
This opinion paper discusses urban lawns, the most common part of open green spaces and urban green infrastructures. It highlights both the ecosystem services and also disservices provided by urban lawns based on the authors’ experience of working within interdisciplinary research projects on lawns in different cities of Europe (Germany, Sweden and Russia), New Zealand (Christchurch), USA (Syracuse, NY) and Australia (Perth). It complements this experience with a detailed literature review based on the most recent studies of different biophysical, social, planning and design aspects of lawns. We also used an international workshop as an important part of the research methodology. We argue that although lawns of Europe and the United States of America are now relatively well studied, other parts of the world still underestimate the importance of researching lawns as a complex ecological and social phenomenon. One of the core objectives of this paper is to share a paradigm of nature-based solutions in the context of lawns, which can be an important step towards finding resilient sustainable alternatives for urban green spaces in the time of growing urbanisation, increased urban land use competition, various user demands and related societal challenges of the urban environment. We hypothesise that these solutions may be found in urban ecosystems and various local native plant communities that are rich in species and able to withstand harsh conditions such as heavy trampling and droughts. To support the theoretical hypothesis of the relevance of nature-based solutions for lawns we also suggest and discuss the concept of two natures—different approaches to the vision of urban nature, including the understanding and appreciation of lawns. This will help to increase the awareness of existing local ecological approaches as well as an importance of introducing innovative landscape architecture practices. This article suggests that there is a potential for future transdisciplinary international research that might aid our understanding of lawns in different climatic and socio-cultural conditions as well as develop locally adapted (to environmental conditions, social needs and management policies) and accepted nature-based solutions. View Full-Text
Keywords: lawns; ecosystem services and disservices; nature-based solutions for lawns; alternative to lawns; sustainable lawns; two natures lawns; ecosystem services and disservices; nature-based solutions for lawns; alternative to lawns; sustainable lawns; two natures
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Ignatieva, M.; Haase, D.; Dushkova, D.; Haase, A. Lawns in Cities: From a Globalised Urban Green Space Phenomenon to Sustainable Nature-Based Solutions. Land 2020, 9, 73.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop