For other uses of the word Greenbelt, see Greenbelt (disambiguation).
A green belt or greenbelt is an area of largely undeveloped wild or agricultural land surrounding or neighbouring an urban area. A similar concept is the greenway which has a linear character and may run through the urban area instead of around it. The more general term in the U.S. is green space or greenspace, which may be a very small area such as a park.
In some countries, development in green belt areas is heavily restricted. Aims include:
protecting the natural environment;
improving air quality in urban areas;
ensuring that urban dwellers have easy access to the countryside, with consequent educational and recreational opportunities; and
protecting the unique character of rural communities which might otherwise be absorbed by expanding suburbs.
Sometimes, development jumps over the restricted greenbelt area, resulting in the creation of "satellite towns" which, although separated from the city by green space, function more like suburbs than independent communities.
The protection of green belts was pioneered in the United Kingdom, where there are fourteen green belt areas, covering 16,716 km², or 13% of England; for a detailed discussion of these, see Green Belt (UK). Another notable example is the Ottawa Greenbelt in Canada.
An act of the Swedish parliament from 1994 has declared a series of parks in Stockholm and the adjacent municipality of Solna to its north a "national urban park" (it stretches from the parks surrounding the royal palaces of Ulriksdal and Haga in Solna, through the Brunnsviken area, down to the former royal hunting grounds of North and South Djurgården).
This is the official website of the GreenBelt Movement (GBM) and its founder, the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Professor Wangari Maathai.
Wangari Maathai, who in 2004 became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, won the nonfiction award for her memoir, "Unbowed." The book tells of Maathai's struggle to found the GreenBelt movement, a grass-roots attempt to reverse environmental destruction in Kenya.
Professor Wangari Maathai and the GreenBelt Movement applaud the announcement today that Al Gore, former US vice president, and the UN’s IPCC have won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for raising awareness of the risks of climate change.
In UK city planning, the GreenBelt is a concept for controlling metropolitan growth introduced around London, England by minister of housing Duncan Sandys via a Government Circular.
The government issues planning guidance [] for the greenbelts defined by local authorities in England and Wales.
The introduction of greenbelts was the culmination of over 50 years of environmentalist pressure with roots in the Garden Cities Movement and widespread academic interest in combating urban sprawl and ribbon development, as well as pressure from campaign groups such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).
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