"Marginal" Urban Vegetation - The Case of Lisbon

Sara Machado Doesburg, Paulo Farinha-Marques


The capacity of cities to respond to the physical, social, economic and
environmental reality in order to guarantee sustainability, identity, biophysical
integration, social dynamics, mobility, diversity, security and
comfort is being challenged. An ecological approach to urban planning
and management is essential to maintain the long-term sustainability of
ecosystem benefits, services and resources. The urban vegetation plays
a key role in this process. While municipality plans identify and protect
most green areas, a network of existing vegetation remains «marginal»
in these plans and its contribution to the urban ecosystem remains unknown.
In this study, by means of satellite images, the existing vegetation
of the city of Lisbon is identified, quantified and compared to the
Ecological Urban Structure Plan (EUS), as defined by the municipality.
The amount of vegetation not considered by the EUS was defined as
«marginal» Urban Vegetation. It consists of a considerable amount of
areas, fragmented throughout the city and subjected to imminent pressures.
This vegetation is investigated, evaluated and its evolution monitored
with images of the past 7 years and finally, contextualized in the
new urban plans for the city.

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