What functions do green areas and open spaces serve in the City of the Future?

Green areas and open spaces are hugely important to the quality of life and the environment in towns and cities. They can have a positive influence on the urban climate, improve mental health, and make a vital contribution to preserving biodiversity in towns and cities. There is an increasing focus on the relevance of green areas to urban material and resource flows, for instance as areas for sustainable energy generation, urban agriculture or green infrastructures to reinforce an urban water regime in harmony with nature.
Last but not least, the leisure and recreation activities offered in green and open areas are of note. They also play an important social role as non-commercial spaces where people can meet and that can also be accessed by disadvantaged groups.
In this focus topic, strategies for classifying the diverse functions of green and open spaces are discussed within the context of the City of the Future, specifically in growing towns and cities where there is considerable pressure on developing open spaces in inner cities.