MetroGreen: Connecting Open Space in North American Cities

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In metropolitan areas across the country, you can hear the laments over the loss of green space to new subdivisions and strip malls. But some city residents have taken unprecedented measures to protect their open land, and a growing movement seeks not only to preserve these lands but to link them in green corridors.
Many land-use and urban planning professionals, along with landscape architects and environmental advocates, have joined in efforts to preserve natural areas. MetroGreen answers their call for a deeper exploration of the latest thinking and newest practices in this growing conservation field. In ten case studies of U.S. and Canadian cities paired for comparative analysis-Toronto and Chicago, Calgary and Denver, and Vancouver and Portland among them-Erickson looks closely at the motivations and objectives for connecting open spaces across metropolitan areas. She documents how open-space networks have been successfully created and protected, while also highlighting the critical human and ecological benefits of connectivity.
MetroGreen's unique focus on several cities rather than a single urban area offers a perspective on the political, economic, cultural, and environmental conditions that affect open-space planning and the outcomes of its implementation.

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Editorial Reviews

Ecological Restoration - Kara A. Whittaker

"Throughout the book, I was impressed with Erickson's attention to defining jargon so that the material is easily understood by non-landscape architects. Given that the process is inherently multidisciplinary, MetroGreen ought to facilitate a common understanding and help to bridge the gaps among the diverse practionaers involved."
"The book begins with a careful review of the surprisingly slippery concept of 'open space,' the many ways of classifying different design meaningful open space that enhances both landscape ecology and human ecology....In the end, she endorses four strategic approaches: Pursue green infrastructure. Map what you have and show what you want. Build on small successes rather than 'big bangs.' Integrate open space with growth management. Even if it weren't so thoughtfully framed, this book would have special value for its coverage of a variety of institutional arrangements."
Landscape Ecology
"This book is a valuable addition to the current literature of the green infrastructure of cities"
Research Social Scientist, USDA Forest Service - Paul H. Gobster
"Erickson's rigorous scholarship and engaging style will inform and inspire a broad audience of readers—students, professionals, and decision makers alike."
ASLA; coauthor, Designing Greenways; President, Conway School of Landscape Design - Paul Cawood Hellmund
"Donna Erickson's MetroGreen will set you imagining interconnected greenspaces all across your city- and her book will give you expert guidance for making such a network a reality. Erickson's analyses of ten case studies are insightful and instructive and make fascinating reading."
Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia - Moura Quayle
"I see our open spaces as the living rooms of our cities, places where we meet and reflect. MetroGreen has great examples to help us understand our open spaces, in a clearly written and well-researched text. This book should be a must-read for every local politician and public servant—to refresh or inspire."
Ecological Restoration
"Throughout the book, I was impressed with Erickson's attention to defining jargon so that the material is easily understood by non-landscape architects. Given that the process is inherently multidisciplinary, MetroGreen ought to facilitate a common understanding and help to bridge the gaps among the diverse practitioners involved."
President, American Trails; coauthor of Greenways: A Guide To Planning Design and Development - Robert Searns
"Not since Olmsted has there been such a profound vision for re-shaping our cities. Erickson chronicles, with successful examples, the city-beautiful movement for our time: sustainable networks of interconnected greenways, green infrastructure and trails—places for people and for nature. This is more than an informative, thought-provoking read. It is a must-have reference to be kept in easy reach!"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559638913
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 10/9/2006
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Donna Erickson researched and wrote MetroGreen during her tenure as associate professor of landscape architecture in the School of Natural Resources and environment and associate professor of urban and regional planning in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. She has published extensively in design, planning, and conservation journals and books, and is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship. She is now a consultant on open-space conservation in the Rocky Mountain West and is an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan.

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Table of Contents

PART I. Open-Space Networks for Metropolitan Regions
Chapter 1. Connected Open Space: The Metropolitan Scale
Chapter 2. Learning from City Stories: Ten Case Study Comparisons
PART II. Connectivity and Human Ecological Planning
Chapter 3. Ecology—Home: Toronto and Chicago
Chapter 4. Recreation - Well Being: Milwaukee and Ottawa
Chapter 5. Transportation - Movement: Calgary and Denver
Chapter 6. Community—Neighborhood: Vancouver and Portland
Chapter 7. Green Infrastructure - Hard Working City Systems Minneapolis and Cleveland
PART III. Synthesis: Key Ingredients, Challenges, and Strategic Trends
Chapter 8. Lessons for Realizing Connected Open-Space Networks in North American Cities

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