Urban Landscaping

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Urban Landscaping


an integral part of modern urban construction. Several types of parks are closely related to a city’s construction plan and are an indispensable element in the overall urban landscape; these include urban parks, gardens, small public gardens, and boulevards; parks outside city limits (forest areas with meadows and ponds and historical, ethnographic, and memorial parks); and national and people’s parks. They help to create a favorable salubrious and healthful environment, determine in part the functional organization of urban areas, serve as recreation areas for working people and contribute to the expressiveness of architectural ensembles. In developing plans of gardens and parks the dynamics of tree growth are taken into consideration, as well as the variation of the color of treetops with the seasons.

The many aspects of landscape construction include landscape architecture, the planting of trees in populated areas, and the art of designing and planting gardens and parks.


Lunts, L. B. Gorodskoe zelenoe stmitel’stvo. Moscow, 1966.
Rodichkin, I. D., A. K. Salatich, and S. I. Severin. Ozelenenie gorodov. Kiev, 1966.
Rubtsov, L. I., and A. A. Laptev. Spravochnik po zelenomu stroitel’stvu. Kiev, 1971.


Urban Landscaping


(1) A complex of measures to create and utilize greenery in populated areas.

(2) The areas of greenery in population centers.

Landscaping in densely populated areas helps to improve the microclimate and sanitary conditions. The greenery reduces wind velocity, limits the spread of dust and aerosols, reduces the concentration of smoke and harmful gases in the air, and muffles urban noise. It creates a natural landscape in populated areas.

In urban design, the planting of greenery is an integral part of the layout, development, and organization of public services in populated areas. In Soviet urban design, landscaping is carried out according to scientifically based principles and standards. In built-up areas, designers take care to provide an even distribution of gardens, parks, and other large green areas. These are, in turn, connected by boulevards, esplanades, and green belts. All these elements, along with suburban forests and bodies of water, form a single unified system. Existing greenery is preserved as best as possible.

In a modern city, landscaping is concentrated in residential areas (in courtyards formed by groups of houses, in the gardens of residential areas and microraions[neighborhood units]) and near schools and other children’s institutions. These basic landscaping projects are supplemented by landscaping on a city-wide and raion-wide basis. This includes the landscaping of parks of culture and recreation, children’s parks, sports parks, other specialized parks, squares and boulevards, the grounds of industrial, utility, and warehouse enterprises, transportation rights-of-way, preserves, and water conservation areas. Green areas in the suburban zone are a component part of the landscaping of a large city. They provide the population with opportunities for mass recreation in a natural surrounding and help to improve the city’s air basin.

The nature of the landscaping done in various population centers is determined by geographic location, local climatic conditions (precipitation, temperature, wind velocity and direction, sunlight), and the natural terrain (existing forest areas, topography, soil, location of bodies of water). The size, economic specialization, and layout of a city or settlement also determine the nature of landscaping. All aspects of landscaping are encountered in large cities, while only some are found in rural areas, settlements, and small towns. However, both in large cities and in rural areas, protective green areas are essential between the residential and production zones.

In the southern regions of the USSR, the main tasks of urban landscaping are to provide shade and to protect the streets, squares, and residential courtyards and buildings from overheating. In the northern regions, the main purpose is to protect the population centers from cold winds and snowdrifts. In major industrial centers, greenery is needed to provide aeration. In resort towns an abundance of parks and landscaped esplanades is needed to accommodate the large number of vacationers from out of town.

The actual form of urban landscaping depends on the nature of the city and its terrain. Riverside cities, such as Kiev and Budapest, often have a strip of parks located along the river. Such coastal cities as Baku and Odessa normally have a broad belt of seaside parks and esplanades. Large, densely populated cities frequently have forest park wedges that link the center of the city with the countryside. Such parks exist in Moscow, Sverdlovsk, Washington, Copenhagen, and Oslo.

Some new cities that have been built in forest areas have plantings that form an almost solid background for housing complexes, public centers, transit lines, and pedestrian areas (the worker settlement of Sosnovyi Bor in Leningrad Oblast, the science town of the Siberian Division of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR near Novosibirsk). For new cities located in steppe, semidesert, and desert regions, buffer zones of greenery are particularly important. For example, in Karaganda, Navoi, Omsk, and Shevchenko, such zones protect developed areas from prevailing winds.

Landscaped recreational areas for an urban center are made up of forested areas, groves, groups of trees and shrubs, lanes, hedges, thickets, lawns, flower beds, and vines. An important task is to create an organic relationship between the greenery and the natural and artificial bodies of water, the terrain, and the architecture.


Lunts, L. B. Gorodskoe zelenoe stroitel’stvo. Moscow, 1966.
Meiodicheskie rekomendatsii po arkhitekturno-planirovochnoi organizatsii elementov sistemy zelenykh nasazhdenii zhilykh raionov. Kiev, 1971.
Rubtsov, L. I., and A. A. Laptev. Spravochnik po zelenomu stroitel’stvu. Kiev, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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