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Greenway concept as a strategy to support landscape planning and design has been addressed in research studies and publications worldwide (Fabos and Ryan, 2006). However, to fully understand the significance of greenways as a mean to improve cities landscape, the analysis of the design and implementation levels are crucial in order to assess its efficiency towards life quality and acceptance by local populations. This paper aims to further research the role of greenways on medium/small cities in Portugal, as a mean to improve their competitiveness.

Through the case study of greenway design and implementation in the city of Vila- Franca-de-Xira (VFX) in the North Region of Lisbon Metropolitan Area (figure 1), where the authors have been involved as designers, it was analyzed how the concept of greenway enables a better coordinate municipal urban planning, government funds capturing and allocation for public space improvement. The outcome here hypothesized is that, beyond greenway’s efficiency as a communication tool between planning professionals and politicians, they enable to introduce a positive dynamic towards the improvement of cities environmental and landscape quality. Addressing issues of public health, well-being, resources’ protection, and public attraction, greenways may well contribute to increase cities competitiveness in a metropolitan context.



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