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Other publication - Peer-reviewed, 2018

An alternative urban green carpet How can we move to sustainable lawns in a time of climate change?

Ignatieva, Maria; Hedblom, Marcus


Lawns are a global phenomenon. They green the urban environment and provide amenable public and private open spaces. In Sweden, 52% of the urban green areas are lawns. In the United States, lawns cover 1.9% of the country’s terrestrial area and lawn grass is the largest irrigated nonfood crop. Assuming lawn would cover 23% of cities globally [on the basis of data from the United States and Sweden], it would occupy 0.15 million to 0.80 million km2 (depending on urban definitions) - that is, an area bigger than England and Spain combined or about 1.4% of the global grassland area. Yet, lawns exact environmental and economic costs, and given the environmental and economic impacts of climate change, it is time to consider new alternative “lawnscapes” in urban planning as beneficial and sustainable alternatives.


lawns; urban environment; sustainability; lawnscapes; alternative lawns; grass

Published in

2018, volume: 362, number: 6411, pages: 148-149

Authors' information

University of Western Australia
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action
SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

UKÄ Subject classification

Landscape Architecture

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)