Influences of 19th century urban parks in the design of the arboretum Ruiz Hidalgo in southeast of Spain
Urban parks became an increasingly common feature of many European and American cities in the late 19th century as a way to increase health and social well-being in the industrial cities. In the city of Murcia (Southeast of Spain) Ricardo Codorníu, a Spanish forest engineer, gathered the ideas of that moment, combining them with his own ecological principles to create in 1908 the first modern city park integrated in the urban grid, right on the riverside of Segura River which crosses the city. The park design, gathered new ideas for nature integration in the city, creating also a new bourgeois space, while would serve as an experimental plot (Arboretum) to study the introduction of new tree species for forest purposes that would be later of economic importance. The Park decadence, due to repeated river floods in the last decades of the middle of the twentieth-century, concluded in a reform project that would finally be the end of the Park in 1955. This paper discusses the introduction of the concept of the urban public park in Southeast of Spain, through a handbook published by Codorníu in 1914. The handbook highlights the abundance and utility of tree species that would probably serve to overcome the economic crisis and shortage of wood in Spain. At the same time, the park played an important role as a new and modern recreational and educational area.
Medina, F. and Ochoa, J. (2017). Influences of 19th century urban parks in the design of the arboretum Ruiz Hidalgo in southeast of Spain. Acta Hortic. 1189, 81-84
botanical collections, urban plantings, recreational, urban trees