BOTANICAL GARDENS: FROM PLANT COLLECTIONS FOR SCIENTIFIC STUDY TO GREEN URBAN SPACES
Botanical gardens have a long history; gardens that were designed for a specific function, the systematic study of plants. Since most botanical gardens are associated with a university, we find them mostly in cities. Although plants are still studied, the number of botanical gardens has diminished, some have disappeared but there also examples that have diminished in size. The goal of this paper is to make clear how the role of botanical gardens has changed in the urban context. In this paper we will analyse some examples both old and new, still functioning and changed in function and how this has affected the role of botanical gardens as urban green space. The approach is based on the 'case-study method'. Case studies are all European and limited in number. The analytical framework is based on a distinction between element, structure and process as levels of intervention. It results in a comparison between the different cases in relation to form, function and meaning at different levels of intervention. One of the conclusions of this research is that botanical gardens are a typical urban phenomenon. The spatial organisation of plants based on taxonomy, climate zones or other criteria does not interfere with the use as urban green space. The layout, organisation of space and choice of plant species contributes to a special atmosphere and identity. Altogether a wonderful example of combination of functions that adds to the quality of these urban green spaces and the quality of the urban landscape as a whole. This research is part of a larger research project that focuses on plants as design material in landscape architecture and urban design.
van den Toorn, M. (2010). BOTANICAL GARDENS: FROM PLANT COLLECTIONS FOR SCIENTIFIC STUDY TO GREEN URBAN SPACES. Acta Hortic. 881, 957-966
taxonomy, plant collection, landscape architecture, urban design, urban parks, public space, urban landscape architecture, functionalism