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Town meets country in our greener cities.

You don't have to travel far to enjoy wide open spaces.

The countryside in and around our towns, otherwise known as the rural urban fringe, is an extremely valuable resource and provides a bountiful range of recreation and leisure opportunities to city-dwellers. Comprising a network of multifunctional open spaces, including woodlands, green corridors, waterways, and open countryside, they offer a panacea to busy city life and bring direct environmental, social and economic benefits.

However, as populations grow and new industry arrives, pressure on these areas is increasing.

In order to manage this, the Countryside Agency has put green urban spaces high on the agenda with its Countryside In and Around Towns (CIAT) vision.

This vision is helping to contribute to the development of a coherent network of multifunctional open spaces across the region, complementing existing urban regeneration projects. It is also helping to establish an attractive and sustainable urban environment, giving a higher quality of life for residents and visitors alike. Central to the vision is an integrated approach to planning for the enhancement and creation of Green Infrastructure ( the network of green spaces including parks, gardens, nature reserves, street trees and beds that weave throughout urban areas ( which play a major role in supporting the sustainability of urban communities.

What's more, the creation of green corridors will increase the number of car-free zones and encourage more people take the opportunity to walk and cycle, thus reducing pollution emissions and encouraging urban sustainability.

Huw Davies, regional director for the Countryside Agency's North-East office, said: "The development of a regional strategy for Green Infrastructure will play an integral role in protecting the future of our urban communities, and offers exciting new social, economic and environmental opportunities to enhance the quality of life for both present and future residents."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2005
Words:297
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