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Since 100 years the concept of planning tools addressed to control the urban sprawl has concentrated on open space protection around metropolitan cities. This has been applied using various green structures i.e.: belts, hearts, wedges or system of protected open spaces. The common element of these tools to control the urban sprawl is open spaces protection. Numerous applications in different natural and economic conditions create great potential for planners to adapt the concept (Cieszewska 2012, Cieszewska, Adamczyk 2014). Open spaces that preserve unbuilt part of metropolis fulfil four main functions: productive, environmental, recreational and ecological. The main question posed by the authors of this paper is how has the metropolitan region that applied greenbelt concept achieved the ecological function. We analysed eleven metropolitan areas where the greenbelt concept has been already applied, or where there is an intent to adopt the aforementioned concept in order to find out a potential of ecological function in planning polices and landscape structure. The studied metropolitan regions are: Berlin, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, London, Manchester, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna, the Randstad – the green heart of the Netherlands, and Warsaw, as the only case where the grennbelt concept is planned.



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