|Overview: Blue Space|
Visible water in a city such as waterfront parks, rivers, streams, canals, lakes, ponds and fountains.
What is Blue Space?
John Spacey, updated on July 03, 2023
Blue space is an urban design term for visible water. Attractive blue spaces such as waterfront parks, harbors, ports, marinas, rivers, open air streams, canals, lakes, ponds and fountains are thought to improve quality of life and help to moderate urban heat islands. Many cities have highly industrialized waterfront zones that are built out with artificial land. Other cities have disrupted access to the sea with poorly designed seawalls and other barriers. Rivers have often suffered a similar fate. It is common for historical rivers and streams to disappear as they are forced underground to use their land. In other cases, rivers disappear after their water has been diverted at the source to feed a city water supply. When water is flowing, it may be polluted by industrial waste or agricultural runoff. Blue space is a valuable resource. Waterfront, riverside and canal-front areas are typically considered a city's most attractive features when they are well designed and managed. It is common for cities to undo the mistakes of the past by converting industrial waterfronts to public space, cleaning up rivers and redesigning sea walls.
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