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Title: Lawns and ornamental meadows as an alternative in the South Europe
Authors: Castro, Maria da Conceição
Ponte e Sousa, Clara
Keywords: sustainability
Issue Date: Jun-2012
Abstract: In the south of Europe, namely in Portugal or Spain, lawns invaded the gardens. Historically, lawns did not belong to the mediterranean garden, but, by anglo-normand influence the turfgrass is now used everywhere (Filippi, 2011). We expect that plants can help us to solve our ecological, technical or social problems. However, the use of plants can bring us some problems too. The use of plants in urban spaces is extremely social and cultural conditioned especially if we think about naturalistic plantings (Hitchmough & Dunnet, 2004). Lawns are an idyllic green soil cover very desired by general public in the Mediterranean climate. But the energy and water necessary to maintain a lawn in Mediterranean conditions is very expensive, economically and ecologically unsustainable. Ornamental meadows are an alternative that has qualities to substitute lawns in extensive framing areas in urban space. It is a very sustainable and biodiverse alternative that is already being used in many cities (Gilsoul, 2011). Ornamental meadows can help us to create more sustainable, diverse and interesting green spaces. Plants with interesting flowers can be used in ornamental meadows and create a spectacular blooming season. In this work we proposed to study the way Landscape Architects choice to use lawns or ornamental meadows in a Mediterranean climate were water to irrigate is a limit factor. How they are influenced by themes like sustainability, ecology or biodiversity, or conditioned by political or social opinions in their design of urban green spaces, were questions explored. The methodology used was surveys directed to active Landscape Architects designers that work in the South of Europe in a Mediterranean climate. Questions about what influences their choices when they have to choose between using lawns or ornamental meadows were asked. This theme was explored in order to understand what conditions the use of lawns or ornamental meadows at the designing level. With this work we hope to contribute to the knowledge about the use of plants covertures in cities in the South Europe.
Type: lecture
Appears in Collections:MED - Comunicações - Em Congressos Científicos Internacionais

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