A green belt or greenbelt is a policy and land use zone designation used in land use planning to retain areas of largely undeveloped, wild, or agricultural land surrounding or neighbouring urban areas. Similar concepts are greenways or green wedges which have a linear character and may run through an urban area instead of around it. In essence, a green belt is an invisible line designating a border around a certain area, preventing development of the area and allowing wildlife to return and be established.
In those countries which have them, the stated objectives of green belt policy are to:
The green belt has many benefits for people:
The effectiveness of green belts differs depending on location and country. They can often be eroded by urban rural fringe uses and sometimes, development 'jumps' over the green belt area, resulting in the creation of "satellite towns" which, although separated from the city by green belt, function more like suburbs than independent communities.
The Old Testament outlines a proposal for a green belt around the Levite towns in the Land of Israel. Moses Maimonides expounded that the greenbelt plan from the Old Testament referred to all towns in ancient Israel. In the 7th century, Muhammad established a green belt around Medina. He did this by prohibiting any further removal of trees in a 12-mile long strip around the city. In 1580 Elizabeth I of England banned new building in a 3-mile wide belt around the City of London in an attempt to stop the spread of plague. However, this was not widely enforced and it was possible to buy dispensations which reduced the effectiveness of the proclamation.
In modern times, the term emerged from continental Europe where broad boulevards were increasingly used to separate new development from the centre of historic towns; most notably the Ringstraße in Vienna. Green belt policy was then pioneered in the United Kingdom confronted with ongoing rural flight. Various proposals were put forward from 1890 onwards but the first to garner widespread support was put forward by the London Society in its "Development Plan of Greater London" 1919. Alongside the CPRE they lobbied for a continuous belt (of up to two miles wide) to prevent urban sprawl, beyond which new development could occur.
There are fourteen green belt areas in the UK covering 16,716 km² or 13% of England, and 164 km² of Scotland; for a detailed discussion of these, see Green belt (UK). Other notable examples are the Ottawa Greenbelt and Golden Horseshoe Greenbelt in Ontario, Canada. Ottawa's 20,350-hectare (78.6 sq mi) instance is managed by the National Capital Commission (NCC). The more general term in the United States is green space or greenspace, which may be a very small area such as a park.
The dynamic Adelaide Park Lands, measuring approximately 7.6 km² surround, unbroken, the city centre of Adelaide. On the fringe of the eastern suburbs, an expansive natural greenbelt in the Adelaide Hills acts as a growth boundary for Adelaide and cools the city in the hottest months.
The concept of "green belt" has evolved in recent years to encompass not only "Greenspace" but also "Greenstructure" which comprises all urban and peri-urban greenspaces, an important aspect of sustainable development in the 21st century. The European Commission's COST Action C11 (COST – European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is undertaking "Case studies in Greenstructure Planning" involving 15 European countries.
When paired with a city which is economically prospering, homes in a Green belt may have been motivated by or result in considerable premiums. They may also be more economically resilient as popular among the retired and less attractive for short-term renting of modest homes. Where in the city itself demand exceeds supply in housing, green belt homes compete directly with much city housing wherever such green belt homes are well-connected to the city. Further, they in all cases attract a future-guaranteed premium for protection of their views, recreational space and for the preservation/conservation value itself. Most also benefit from higher rates of urban gardening and farming, particularly when done in a community setting, which have positive effects on nutrition, fitness, self-esteem, and happiness, providing a benefit for both physical and mental health, in all cases easily provided or accessed in a green belt. Government planners also seek to protect the green belt as its local farmers are engaged in peri-urban agriculture which augments carbon sequestration, reduces the urban heat island effect, and provides a habitat for organisms. Peri-urban agriculture may also help recycle urban greywater and other products of wastewater, helping to conserve water and reduce waste.
The housing market contrasts with more uncertainty and economic liberalism inside and immediately outside of the belt: Green Belt homes have by definition nearby protected landscapes. Local residents in affluent parts of a Green Belt, as in parts of the city, can be assured of preserving any localised bourgeois status quo present and so assuming the Green Belt is not from the outset an area of more social housing proportionately than the city, it naturally tends toward greater economic wealth. In a protracted housing shortage, reduction of the Green Belt is one of the possible solutions. All such solutions may be resisted however by private landlords who profit from a scarcity of housing, for example by lobbying to restrain new housing across the city. The stated motivation and benefits of the green belt might be well-intentioned (public health, social gardening and agriculture, environment), but inadequately realised relative to other solutions.
Inherently partial critics include Mark Pennington and the economics-heavy think tanks such as the Institute of Economic Affairs who would see a reduction in many Green Belts. Such studies focus on widely inherent limitations of Green Belts. In most examples only a small fraction of the population uses the green belt for leisure purposes. The IEA study claims that a green belt is not strongly causally linked to clean air and water. Rather, they view the ultimate result of the decision to green-belt a city as one to prevent housing demand within the zone to be met with supply, thus exacerbating high housing prices and stifling competitive forces in general.
Another area of criticism comes from the fact that, since a greenbelt does not extend indefinitely outside a city, it spurs the growth of areas much further away from the city core than if it had not existed, thereby actually increasing urban sprawl. Examples commonly cited are the Ottawa suburbs of Kanata and Orleans, both of which are outside the city's greenbelt, and are currently undergoing explosive growth (see Greenbelt (Ottawa)). This leads to other problems, as residents of these areas have a longer commute to work places in the city and worse access to public transport. It also means people have to commute through the green belt, an area not designed to cope with high levels of transportation. Not only is the merit of a green belt subverted, but the green belt may heighten the problem and make the city unsustainable.
There are many examples whereby the actual effect of green belts is to act as a land reserve for future freeways and other highways. Examples include sections of the 407 highway north of Toronto and the Hunt Club Rd./Richmond Rd. south of Ottawa. Whether they are originally planned as such, or the result of a newer administration taking advantage of land that was left available by its predecessors is debatable.
In the UK, greenbelt around the major conurbations has been criticized as one of the main protectionist bars to building housing, the others being other planning restrictions (Local Plans and restrictive covenants) and developers' land banking. Local Plans and land banking are to be relaxed for home building in the 2015-2030 period by law and the green belt will be reduced by some local authorities as each local authority must now consider it among the available shortlisted options in drawing development plans to meet higher housing targets. Critics argue that the greenbelts defeat their stated objective of saving the countryside and open spaces. Such criticism falls shorts when considering the other, broader benefits such as peri-urban agriculture which includes gardening and carries many benefits, especially to the retired. It also ignores the strategic aims of the Attlee Ministry in 1946, just as in France, of shifting capital away from the capital (addressing regional disparity) and avoiding intra-urban gridlock. The restrictions of the Green Belt were particularly in the 1940s-1980s mitigated with planned, government-supported, new towns under the New Towns Act 1946 and New Towns Act 1981. These saw establishment beyond the greenbelts of new homes, infrastructure, businesses and other facilities. Without large scale sustainable development, infill development sees urban green space lost. A chronic housing shortage with inadequate new settlements and/or extension of those outside of the green belt and/or no green belt reduction has seen many brownfield sites, often well-suited to industry and commerce, lost in existing conurbations.
The 2010 Castle Point Borough Council election took place on 6 May 2010 to elect members of Castle Point Borough Council in Essex, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Conservative party stayed in overall control of the council.After the election, the composition of the council was
Canvey Island Independent Party 16Allegheny County belt system
The Allegheny County Belt System color codes miscellaneous county roads to form a unique system of routes in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and around the city of Pittsburgh.
Unlike many major American cities that utilize number-coded limited-access roads to form belt systems, the belts in the Allegheny County Belt System are not intended to be used as high-speed routes. Rather, the belt system is to be used as a navigational aid for motorists in unfamiliar portions of the county. Roads that make up the Belt System retain their previous names. The five original routes are, from outermost to innermost, the Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Blue Belts. The Purple Belt was not part of the original system and was added later.Barnsley
Barnsley () is a town in South Yorkshire, England, located halfway between Leeds and Sheffield. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the town centre lies on the west bank of the Dearne Valley. Barnsley is surrounded by several smaller settlements which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, of which Barnsley is the largest and its administrative centre. At the 2011 Census, Barnsley had a population of 91,297.Barnsley is a former industrial town centred on linen in its former years and coal mining, glassmaking and textiles. The industries declined in the 20th century. Barnsley's culture is rooted in its industrial heritage and it has a tradition of brass bands, originally created as social clubs by its mining communities. It is also home of the Barnsley chop.
The town is accessed from junctions 36, 37 and 38 of the M1 motorway and has a railway station on the Hallam and Penistone Lines. Barnsley F.C. is the local football club, which has competed in the second tier of British football for most of its history. Barnsley F.C. also won the FA Cup in 1912.Bendooragh
Bendooragh (likely from Irish: Bun Dúraí, meaning "bottomland of black soil") is a small village and townland in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, 2 1⁄2 miles (4.0 km) south west of Ballymoney. It is part of Causeway Coast and Glens District Council. It had a population of 622 people (217 households) in the 2011 Census.The village is located at the edge of the Ballymoney/Coleraine Green Belt and developed over the post-war period from a crossroads cluster at the junction of the Bann, Drumahiskey and Bendooragh Roads. Bendooragh was the scene of a battle in 1642 where Irish rebels defeated a Government force under Archibald Stewart. During the 1950s public authority housing was built and in the past decade private housing has also been completed. A shop, post office, Orange Hall and fabrication works are located within the hamlet, and there is a church and church hall just outside on the Bann Road.Cheshire
Cheshire ( CHESH-ər, -eer; archaically the County Palatine of Chester) is a county in North West England, bordering Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east, Staffordshire and Shropshire to the south and Flintshire, Wales and Wrexham county borough to the west. Cheshire's county town is the City of Chester (118,200); the largest town is Warrington (209,700).
Other major towns include Crewe (71,722), Ellesmere Port (55,715), Macclesfield (52,044), Northwich (75,000), Runcorn (61,789), Widnes (61,464) and Winsford (32,610)The county covers 905 square miles (2,344 km2) and has a population of around 1 million. It is mostly rural, with a number of small towns and villages supporting the agricultural and other industries which produce Cheshire cheese, salt, chemicals and silk.City of Wakefield
The City of Wakefield is a local government district in West Yorkshire, England, with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. Wakefield is the district's administrative centre. The population of the City of Wakefield at the 2011 Census was 325,837. The district includes the "Five Towns" of Normanton, Pontefract, Featherstone, Castleford and Knottingley. Other towns include Ossett, Hemsworth, South Kirkby and Moorthorpe and South Elmsall. The City and borough are governed by Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. Wakefield lies between Leeds and Barnsley In 2010, Wakefield was named as the UK's third most musical city by PRS for Music.Derbyshire
Derbyshire () is a county in the East Midlands of England. A substantial portion of the Peak District National Park lies within Derbyshire, containing the southern extremity of the Pennine range of hills which extend into the north of the county. The county contains part of the National Forest, and borders on Greater Manchester to the northwest, West Yorkshire to the north, South Yorkshire to the northeast, Nottinghamshire to the east, Leicestershire to the southeast, Staffordshire to the west and southwest and Cheshire also to the west.
Kinder Scout, at 636 metres (2,087 ft), is the highest point in the county, whilst Trent Meadows, where the River Trent leaves Derbyshire, is its lowest point at 27 metres (89 ft).:1 The River Derwent is the county's longest river at 66 miles (106 km), and runs roughly north to south through the county. In 2003 the Ordnance Survey placed Church Flatts Farm at Coton in the Elms (near Swadlincote) as the furthest point from the sea in Great Britain.The city of Derby is a unitary authority area, but remains part of the ceremonial county of Derbyshire. The non-metropolitan county contains 30 towns with between 10,000 and 100,000 inhabitants. There is a large amount of sparsely populated agricultural upland: 75% of the population live in 25% of the area.European Green Belt
The European Green Belt initiative is a grassroots movement for nature conservation and sustainable development along the corridor of the former Iron Curtain. The term refers to both an environmental initiative as well as the area it concerns. The initiative is carried out under the patronage of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Mikhail Gorbachev. It is the aim of the initiative to create the backbone of an ecological network that runs from the Barents to the Black and Adriatic Seas.
The European Green Belt as an area follows the route of the former Iron Curtain and connects National Parks, Nature Parks, Biosphere Reserves and transboundary protected areas as well as non-protected valuable habitats along or across the (former) borders.Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire ( (listen), (listen); formerly abbreviated as Gloucs. in print but now often as Glos.) is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean.
The county town is the city of Gloucester, and other principal towns include Cheltenham, Stroud, Tewkesbury, Cirencester and Dursley.
Gloucestershire borders Herefordshire to the north west, Wiltshire to the south, Bristol and Somerset to the south west, Worcestershire to the north, Oxfordshire to the east, Warwickshire to the north east, and the Welsh county of Monmouthshire to the west.Green belt (United Kingdom)
In British town planning, the green belt is a policy for controlling urban growth. The idea is for a ring of countryside where urbanisation will be resisted for the foreseeable future, maintaining an area where agriculture, forestry and outdoor leisure can be expected to prevail. The fundamental aim of green belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open, and consequently the most important attribute of green belts is their openness.
The Metropolitan Green Belt around London was first proposed by the Greater London Regional Planning Committee in 1935. The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 then allowed local authorities to include green belt proposals in their development plans. In 1955, Minister of Housing Duncan Sandys encouraged local authorities around the country to consider protecting land around their towns and cities by the formal designation of clearly defined green belts.Green belt policy has been criticised for reducing the amount of land available for building and therefore pushing up house prices, as 70% of the cost of building new houses is the purchase of the land (up from 25% in the late 1950s).Harefield Road tube station
Harefield Road was a proposed London Underground station on the western extension of the Central line beyond its current terminus at West Ruislip.
Under the London Passenger Transport Board's 1935–1940 New Works programme, the station would have been built on the existing Great Western & Great Central Joint Railway (GW&GCJR) line between West Ruislip and Denham, the extension's intended terminus.
Like many other new stations built by London Underground in the outskirts of the capital, the construction of the station was intended to stimulate new housing developments in what was a rural part of Middlesex. Works on the extension were postponed during World War II and, after the war, green belt legislation was introduced to limit the expansion of urban areas. The area beyond West Ruislip fell within the designated Metropolitan Green Belt, and as the intended housing developments were no longer allowed the extension was cut back to West Ruislip; it opened in stages in 1947 and 1948.Marine Corps Martial Arts Program
The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP, ) is a combat system developed by the United States Marine Corps to combine existing and new hand-to-hand and close quarters combat techniques with morale and team-building functions and instruction in the Warrior Ethos. The program, which began in 2001, trains Marines (and U.S. Navy personnel attached to Marine units) in unarmed combat, edged weapons, weapons of opportunity, and rifle and bayonet techniques. It also stresses mental and character development, including the responsible use of force, leadership, and teamwork.Merseyside
Merseyside ( MUR-zee-syde) is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 1.38 million. It encompasses the metropolitan area centred on both banks of the lower reaches of the Mersey Estuary and comprises five metropolitan boroughs: Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Wirral, and the city of Liverpool. Merseyside, which was created on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972, takes its name from the River Mersey.
Merseyside spans 249 square miles (645 km2) of land which border Lancashire (to the north-east), Greater Manchester (to the east), Cheshire (to the south and south-east) and the Irish Sea to the west. North Wales is across the Dee Estuary. There is a mix of high density urban areas, suburbs, semi-rural and rural locations in Merseyside, but overwhelmingly the land use is urban. It has a focused central business district, formed by Liverpool City Centre, but Merseyside is also a polycentric county with five metropolitan districts, each of which has at least one major town centre and outlying suburbs. The Liverpool Urban Area is the fifth most populous conurbation in England, and dominates the geographic centre of the county, while the smaller Birkenhead Urban Area dominates the Wirral Peninsula in the south.
For the 12 years following 1974 the county had a two-tier system of local government; district councils shared power with the Merseyside County Council. The county council was abolished in 1986, and so its districts (the metropolitan boroughs) are now effectively unitary authority areas. However, the metropolitan county continues to exist in law and as a geographic frame of reference, and several county-wide services are co-ordinated by authorities and joint-boards, such as Merseytravel (for public transport), Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and the Merseyside Police (for law-enforcement); as a ceremonial county, Merseyside has a Lord Lieutenant and a High Sheriff. The boroughs of Merseyside are joined by the neighbouring borough of Halton in Cheshire to form the Liverpool City Region, which is a local enterprise partnership and combined authority area.
Merseyside is an amalgamation of 22 former local government districts from the former administrative counties of Lancashire, Cheshire and six autonomous county boroughs centred on Birkenhead, Bootle, Liverpool, Southport, St Helens, and Wallasey.Metropolitan Green Belt
The Metropolitan Green Belt is a statutory green belt around London, England. It comprises parts of Greater London and the six adjoining "home counties", parts of two of the three districts of the small county of Bedfordshire and less than 0.1% of one of the thirteen local government areas of the coastal county of Sussex. As of 2017/18, Government statistics show the planning designation covered 513,860 hectares (1,269,800 acres) of land.Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire (abbreviated Oxon, from Oxonium, the Latin name for Oxford) is a county in South East England. The ceremonial county borders Warwickshire to the north-west, Northamptonshire to the north-east, Buckinghamshire to the east, Berkshire to the south, Wiltshire to the south-west and Gloucestershire to the west.
The county has major education and tourist industries and is noted for the concentration of performance motorsport companies and facilities. Oxford University Press is the largest firm among a concentration of print and publishing firms; the University of Oxford is also linked to the concentration of local biotechnology companies.
As well as the city of Oxford, other centres of population are Banbury, Bicester, Kidlington and Chipping Norton to the north of Oxford; Carterton and Witney to the west; Thame and Chinnor to the east; and Abingdon-on-Thames, Wantage, Didcot, Wallingford and Henley-on-Thames to the south. The areas south of the Thames, the Vale of White Horse and parts of South Oxfordshire, are in the historic county of Berkshire, as is the highest point, the 261 metres (856 ft) White Horse Hill.Oxfordshire's county flower is the snake's-head fritillary.Redditch
Redditch is a town, and local government district in north-east Worcestershire, England, approximately 15 miles (24 km) south of Birmingham. The district has a population of 110,000 as of 2019. In the 19th century it became the international centre for the needle and fishing tackle industry. At one point 90% of the world's needles were manufactured in the town and its neighbourhoods.
In the 1960s it became a model for modern new town planning.Union Road, Prince Edward Island
Union Road is a municipality that holds community status in Prince Edward Island, Canada. It is located in Queens County.
Located in the township of Lot 33, Union Road is one of several communities comprising a green belt surrounding the City of Charlottetown.Wangari Maathai
Wangarĩ Muta Maathai (wàŋɡàˈɹɛ |m|ɑː|ˈ|t|aɪ; 1 April 1940 – 25 September 2011) was a renowned Kenyan social, environmental and political activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel laureate. She was educated in the United States at Mount St. Scholastica (Benedictine College) and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the University of Nairobi in Kenya. She died of cancer on Sunday September 11, 2011.
In 1977, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women's rights. In 1984, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2004. Maathai was an elected member of Parliament and served as assistant minister for Environment and Natural resources in the government of President Mwai Kibaki between January 2003 and November 2005. She was an Honorary Councillor of the World Future Council. She was affiliated to professional bodies and received several awards. In 2011, Maathai died of complications from ovarian cancer.Wiltshire
Wiltshire (; abbreviated Wilts) is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2 (1,346 square miles). It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The county town was originally Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the county town of Trowbridge.
Wiltshire is characterised by its high downland and wide valleys. Salisbury Plain is noted for being the location of the Stonehenge and Avebury stone circles and other ancient landmarks, and as a training area for the British Army. The city of Salisbury is notable for its medieval cathedral. Important country houses open to the public include Longleat, near Warminster, and the National Trust's Stourhead, near Mere.
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