Saskia de Wit Tuin en landschap

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Overige activiteiten > Urban Forests For All

Saskia de Wit, Urban Forests For All,

Jaar: 21-25 May 2024
Locatie: Zagreb
In opdracht van: European Forum on Urban Forestry

Urban Forestscapes. The City of Delft as a Woodland Complex

 

To understand the role of the urban forest for people and society a focus on the spatial-experiential aspect (in relation to the human body and human perception) is relevant: trees frame the space in which people move, act, experience and appreciate. ‘Tree language’ refers to the spatial relationship between tree species, planting configurations and plantations and their unique location. 

The notion of ‘plantation’ is explored as one of the defining aspects of such a language (next to ‘species’ and ‘configuration’). ‘Plantation’ is proposed as a term to describe the wooded characteristics of areas in the urban realm, defined by a combination of characteristics of species, tree configurations and the density and morphology of the plantation, comparable to a natural forest mosaic which is also determined by commonalities in species and vegetation community structure, as well as having alternations of densely wooded and less wooded areas. 

This reveals an urban landscape composed of a variegated wooded mosaic of plantations, which invariably transcend neighbourhood boundaries as well as common understandings of the boundary between city and countryside. In successive density and arrangement, in Delft seven types of plantations can be distinguished, connected and separated by the long lines, the avenues that traditionally formed the connections between Delft and the countryside like spokes in a wheel.

A ‘dense plantation’ has a mainly continuous tree canopies with scattered clearings in between. This type occurs mainly in the regional forests but also urban cemeteries can be typified as dense plantations. 

A ‘park forest’ is an open landscape with groups and meandering lines in a coherent, pictorial composition. This includes especially the parks, both inside and outside the built-up area. 

‘Warp and weft’ is a composition in which lines and groups are equivalent and interlock, forming interlocking patterns together with the series of staggered green rooms that form the inner areas. 

‘Avenues and courtyards’ is the wooded layer of a traditional urban structure of blocks and streets. 

‘Scattering’ knows an uneven distribution of fragments, each with its own origin, density and regularity, whereas the ‘grid’ forms a regular, orthogonal pattern of avenues. 

‘Rooms’ are large open spaces bordered by more or less regular avenues or edges of trees. More than the other types of wooded areas, their spatial quality is determined by the absence of buildings. 

These plantations are connected and separated by the long lines, the avenues that traditionally formed the connections between Delft and the countryside like spokes in a wheel.