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Table 5 Natural environment classification and typology definitions and subsets for analysis of specific health-related mechanisms

From: Characterisation of the natural environment: quantitative indicators across Europe

Level 1 Level 1.1 Level 2 (typology) Type(s) of urban green space included Definition (purpose of space)
Green Urban green space Parks Urban parks Areas of land normally enclosed, designed, constructed, managed and maintained as a public park. Accessible, high quality opportunities for informal recreation and community events. These will include a variety of features which may include formal footpaths, play space, sports areas, trees, planted beds and ponds
   Semi-natural/natural Biodiversity areas, conservation areas, nature reserves, protected areas, heritage sites? Wildlife conservation, biodiversity and environmental education or awareness. Areas of undeveloped or previously developed land within or adjoining an urban area with residual natural habitats or which have been planted or colonised by vegetation and wildlife
   Formal recreation Playgrounds and sports fields (not within parks) Playgrounds: Areas providing safe and accessible opportunities for children’s play, such as fixed play equipment, adventure play and skate parks. Sports: Large and generally flat areas of grassland or specially designed surfaces, used primarily for designated sports i.e. playing fields, tennis courts, bowling greens. This class includes natural and artificial playing surfaces
   Civic space Squares, gardens, Squares, streets, predominantly of hard landscaping that provide a focus for pedestrian activity and make connections for people and for wildlife, where trees and planting are included. Gardens, Areas of land normally enclosed, designed, constructed, managed and maintained as a garden. These will include a variety of features which may include formal footpaths, trees, planted beds and ponds. They are small in size and function in a similar way to public squares
   Functional/amenity Allotment, cemetery, amenity spaces, institutional (school, hospital grounds etc.) School: land normally enclosed and associated with a school. Amenity: Unenclosed greenspace surrounding high-rise flats and other residential buildings. Enclosed land around other public institutions (hospitals, police stations, fire stations, universities, colleges, nursing homes). Unenclosed, landscaped areas providing visual amenity or separating different buildings or land uses for environmental, visual or safety reasons, i.e. road verges or greenspace in business parks, and used for a variety of informal or social activities such as sunbathing, picnics or kickabouts. Enclosed land associated with churches and other places of worship. Land used currently or previously as a place of burial and land associated with crematoriums
   Natural/green corridor Traffic free/natural: Pathways, Trails and cycle paths Linear routes linking different areas within a town or city as part of a designated and managed network and used for walking, cycling or horse riding, or linking towns and cities to their surrounding countryside or country parks. These may link greenspaces together. Accessible greenspace, such as that associated with disused railway lines and paths
   Derelict/vacant   Disused natural areas with no clear purpose (‘stalled spaces’)
   Residential gardens Private gardens Enclosed individual or shared gardens associated with residential properties
   Street greenery Street greenery This class should be used for open space associated with road and rail which provide visual amenity/landscaping only, i.e. they would not be used by people for recreation
Level 1 Level 1.1 Level 2 (typology) Definition (purpose of space)
Green Non-urban green space Woodland/forests Areas of land normally enclosed, designed, constructed, managed and maintained as a woodland. These areas are dominated by tree cover but can include a variety of features which may include formal footpaths, and visitor facilities
   Rural and agricultural land Enclosed lowland agricultural land. Unenclosed upland agricultural land
   Country parks Many are located near or within towns and cities and therefore close to where people live. All provide a wide range of opportunities for recreation
Water Freshwater (inland water) Lakes/reservoirs/ponds (standing water bodies) Areas of open water and associated green or hard landscaping/waterfront space
   Rivers, streams, canals (linear water features) Canal towpaths, accessible river corridors and the associated greenspace
  Marine/coastal Including beeches (type of coastline) Waterfront promenades, predominantly of hard landscaping that provide a focus for pedestrian activity