Lawn as Ecological and Cultural Phenomenon; Understanding of Social, Cultural and Regulatory Motives for Establishment and Management of Lawns in Uppsala

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för geovetenskaper

Abstract:

Lawn is a homogenized element of modern urban green space. Due to historical and cultural characteristics of Swedish urban planning, lawns are the main common typology in Uppsala (77.3%). Despite the strong attachment of Uppsala people to green carpets, the multibillion lawn industry is highly costly in terms of maintenance and management. It is also a source of pollution due to excessive mowing regime. In this research, social, cultural and regulatory motives behind establishment and management of Uppsala lawns among different stakeholders were researched and discussed through a transdisciplinary approach. In the light of three pillars of sustainability, I had a closer look at management and establishment of lawns in Uppsala municipality and Uppsala’s housing corporation. It was found out that social and recreational aspects of lawns are very much appreciated among all respondents. However, economical and environmental aspects of lawns are barley discussed among planners, managers and politicians and they are under the veil of social values. This research also found out that there is a strong attachment of general public to lawns. It can be explained by lacking of ecological knowledge and environmental understanding about the real role of lawns in urban biodiversity. One of the goals of my research was to find sustainable alternative solutions to the conventional lawns that can be implemented on city and neighbourhood scale as well as to educate public and professionals about importance of lawn’s biodiversity.

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