WIT Press

Missing Categories In Open Space Planning


Free (open access)





Page Range

317 - 327




742 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


K. Bomans, V. Dewaelheyns & H. Gulinck


Planning for open space is strongly rooted in conventional categories of land use and land cover (such as agriculture, urban and forest). Objectives are set and measures are taken to, for example, preserve biodiversity, enlarge the area for forests, ensure there is enough land for cost-effective professional agriculture and maintain a margin for housing and industrial development. However, in recent years there has been an emerging attention for questioning these standard categorizations for several reasons, such as the upsurge of newcomers in land use, the differentiation of standard categories, such as tourism/recreation, agriculture and water management and the emergence of new functions, such as carbon sequestration and wind energy. This paper pays attention to the spatial importance of two rather neglected categories of open space: (i) gardens and (ii) grassland for horses. Gardens, especially private gardens, tend to be ignored because they are considered as a part of the urban fabric. ‘Grassland for horses’ disappears somewhere within the category of agriculture, although it is also strongly linked with the urban context. Using different methods, including fieldwork, interpretation of aerial photographs and regression analysis, a quantification of these categories is made for the Northern part of Belgium, Flanders. From this, suggestions are made about the role of these categories in sustainable open space planning. Keywords: open space, garden, grassland for horses, spatial planning. 1 Introduction The term open space has different meanings that relate to rurality, non-built soils, visual openness or access for people and activities. In this paper, open space is defined as \“the totality of land units with mainly non-built soils” and therefore encompasses a wide range of categories. Most common are agriculture,


open space, garden, grassland for horses, spatial planning.