chapter  9
7 Pages

Architecture, language and the environment

During the nineteenth century, the leading idea in open space planning was to make patches of green, called parks. In the twentieth century, it was to make strips of green, called parkways or greenways. Greenways derive from parkways, which derive from boulevards. It was Olmsted who began the transformation. Greenways do not have to be green in mood. Shopping streets can be greenways, if they are environmentally pleasant, but their mood is unlikely to be green. If they are used only to get from shop to shop, the space will be yellow. If the 'green' in 'greenway' is read as 'environmentally pleasant' then 'greenway' is a valuable portmanteau term. But 'greenways' come in many colours and varieties, which must be fitted into the environment as carefully as the parts of a mechanical clock. Each must be adapted to its location and to its role within the urban structure. This demands a qualitative approach to open space planning.