System of Open Spaces: Concrete Project Strategies for Urban Territories


TARDIN, Raquel. System of Open Spaces: Concrete Project Strategies for Urban Territories. New York: Springer, 2012.

The book was first published in Portuguese (Rio de Janeiro, Editora 7 Letras, 2008), and then in Spanish (Buenos Aires, Editorial Nobuko, 2010). For this English version, an important review was carried out, improving the content of the book.

Editor’s Note:

This book is an elaboration of a method of recognition, analysis, evaluation, and proposal of the planning of open spaces in a system for the purpose of spatial planning. The topic addressed is a currently much debated issue and interest in the proposed problem will continue to grow. In that sense, there is a demand for this type of work, a new methodology from the point of view of landscape and spatial planning. The work reflects the landscape planning approach to spatial planning, using open space as a structuring element of the urban territory and taking into account its functions within the urban context.

In general, in the majority of cities, open spaces tend to be treated as land put aside for future urban occupation, environmental reserves, or simply no man’s land. Conversely, what this book proposes is reversing this perspective and thinking positively about open spaces. In this manner, the existing values of these spaces and the permanence of these spaces in a system of open spaces interrelated with urban occupation can be used for possible territorial restructuring. The work highlights the importance of considering open spaces as components and structuring elements of urban occupation. Here, open spaces and urban occupation are interrelated and have mutual influence, and their direct relationship allows for new intervention opportunities for the development, maintenance, and management of the territory in a sustainable way, through planning and design.

This book takes a practical approach to answering a relevant question, instead of simply providing information or making a simple claim. At the same time, it presents a theoretical approach and introduces the issue under discussion in a general way, providing new arguments. Although the book focuses on a case study in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the conclusions drawn are of global relevance.

The book is fully illustrated and will be of interest to planners, landscape architects, urban designers, geographers, and architects, whether they are professionals, researchers, or students.