One main issue in establishing sustainable urban regions is the management of land use. New wilderness areas could provide a large-scale pattern for the sustainable development of the whole of the peri-urban landscape. This pattern of new wilderness could help to manage urban development by “pre-structuring” its spatial area because woodlands provide strong obstacles to expansion while providing public open spaces. Spontaneous vegetation in new wilderness areas provides the basic structure for future parks in the (peri-)urban landscape.
A pattern of new wilderness for aesthetic perception of the peri-urban landscape
The main problem in the aesthetic perception of the peri-urban landscape is its complex structure. While the design of agricultural landscape is determined by the regular patterns of the borders of fields, pastures and hedges, the peri-urban landscape appears to be chaotic because it has no dominating structure and heterogeneous elements.
One strategy for developing an aesthetic perception of the peri-urban landscape could be to provide a readable structure. A regular pattern of new wilderness with linear borders would help as this would provide a reference to traditional cultivated landscape. This could also form a smooth visual background for the various elements of the peri-urban landscape and help to connect them visually.
The peri-urban landscape will be an essential element for leisure activities, sustainable urban development and the identity of urban regions in the future. This landscape will not be dominated by agricultural land but will have agriculture with different intensities. The peri-urban landscape will also have many new different urban uses and a constantly changing land use.
The process of urbanisation and changes in land use will lead to areas that temporarily lose their economic function. Concepts and effective methods must be developed to reuse and bring new qualities to these sites.
Management of natural vegetation, including wild vegetation, will be one approach for producing different kinds of open spaces in the peri-urban landscape. Sites with existing vegetation can be changed with little expenditure into places that provide ecological value and space for leisure activities. These new wilderness areas could also serve for regional recycling of disposable items.
On the scale of regional planning, new wilderness could also support sustainable urban development and create a new identity for the peri-urban landscape through design.
A structural pattern of new wilderness elements could provide a reserve of land for the management of natural resources. This pattern could also compensate for the chaotic appearance of a sprawling landscape.
The future will show whether the concept of new wilderness can describe all functions and forms of managed wild vegetation in the peri-urban landscape. However, new wilderness as a cultural concept shows clearly that an aesthetic and cultural perception of the natural development of vegetation is important. It is necessary to understand the mechanisms of acceptance and to develop design strategies for areas with wild vegetation.
This is the basis on which these areas can become important elements in the peri-urban landscape in the future.
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