Low-density housing in sustainable urban planning – Scaling down to private gardens by using the green infrastructure concept

Outi Tahvonen, Miimu Airaksinen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Using green infrastructure (GI) concept, urban green spaces in the form of combined private and public green areas with planned and unplanned vegetation, have been recognized as a key element in sustainable solutions for urban communities. For cities, GI provides ecological, social, cultural, technical, and economic functions that also comprise low-density housing (LDH) and its private gardens. LDH can be considered a landscape's ecological matrix that serves as a multifunctional platform for garden-related sociocultural and economic functions. It is composed of technical solutions and processes that reorganize themselves according to residents' ongoing choices. However, the paradigm of sustainable cities argues for the efficient use of space, and LDH may be an inviting area for densification. Infill in LDH increases the number of residents but decreases the space for gardens. Urban planners need to be aware of the potential role of LDH gardens in GI and the pillars of sustainability. This study concentrates on LDH and its gardens in scaling-up approach. First, it reviews some recent studies on domestic private gardens under the pillars of sustainable development and proposes a checklist of sustainable garden characteristics to used by land-use planners. Then it considers possible ways to maintain the multifunctionality of LDH when scaling up to blocks and neighbourhoods.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)478-485
    Number of pages8
    JournalLand Use Policy
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Densification
    • Green infrastructure
    • Low density housing
    • Multifucntionality
    • Private gardens
    • Scaling up
    • Sustainable cities


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