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Greenbelts

  • By: Nick Gallent
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

A greenbelt is a section of land deliberately left undeveloped as either forest or agricultural space, often near urban centers, generally for purposes of environmental conservation.

Historical Formation of Greenbelts

In 1829, an etching by the artist George Cruik-shank showed London literally “going out of town,” with development spewing onto the countryside and threatening the tranquility of pastoral England. Britain's Industrial Revolution had prompted unprecedented urban growth, triggering two areas of critical concern for future generations of planners: (1) the well-being of urban centers and (2) the relationship between these centers and their rural hinterlands. In the preindustrial era, many significant settlements had been contained by fortification. Across Europe and Asia, towns and cities were frequently enveloped by man-made or natural barriers—walls, the sea, rivers, or mountains—by ...

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