Porto wins first Green Flag Awards in Portugal with 3 city parks and gardens

16 July 2019

Porto wins first Green Flag Awards in Portugal with 3 city parks and gardens

Portugal has become the 14th country to join the expanding Green Flag Award winning network of parks and green spaces, after securing 3x winning sites in the city of Porto.

Jardim Botânico do Porto, Jardim do Passeio Alegre and the world renowned 'City Park' - Parque da Cidade, all met the international standards on their first year of application after impressing the Green Flag Award judges during their visit earlier in July.

The Botanical Garden of Porto is managed by the Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto. Dating back to 1951 this historic garden houses a huge collection of plants and numerous examples of classic garden design set out in a series of rooms such as the Shale Garden, the Fish Garden, the Rose Garden and the Jays Garden. 
Earlier in July the recent renovation project of the Botanical Garden was one of the winners in the category "Parks and Gardens" of the International Architecture Awards 2019, the largest and oldest annual public celebration of architecture at global level.

Paulo Farinha-Marques, Landscape Architect and Director of the Botanical Garden of Porto said:

"Myself and the team at Botanical Garden of Porto is deeply honoured with the distinction of The Green Flag Award. This is the outcome of a lot of work, all year round, by a small but very dedicated team of garden enthusiasts. Passion, commitment and imagination fuels our action and the garden blooms accordingly!"

Jardim do Passeio Alegre

Located at the mouth of the River Duoro - Jardim do Passeio Alegre is a fine example of a late-19th-century public garden and is considered one of landscape gardener Jeronymo Monteiro da Costa’s most important achievements
The water fountain (18th century) was listed as a national monument in 1910 and the obelisks designed by Nicolau Nasoni (18th century) were classified as public interest structures in 1938. The park has also had the largest number of trees classified as being of public interest in the city of Porto: 63 Canary Island date palms, 28 Norfolk Island pines and two Metrosideros.

Parque da Cidade

Covering around 80 hectares, the Porto City Park is considered the largest urban park in the country. The green areas spread out over multiple panoramic fields that extend all the way to the edge of the sea, providing it with an unusual site-to-city context in comparison to most urban parks around the world. Between 1916-1918, Ezequiel de Campos acquired land to build a park. In the 1960s, Robert Auzelle’s urbanisation plan reserved this land, but the first conceptual studies only began in 1982. In 1991, construction began based on plans by the world renowned landscape architect Sidónio Pardal. Pardal adapted historic techniques used by the likes of Capability Brown and Frederick Law Olmsted to create a modern park with a surprisingly historic landscape atmosphere.

Map of Parque da Cidade COPYRIGHT: Camara Municipal do Porto

Filipe Araújo, Vice President of Municipality of  Porto, who manage both Parque da Cidade and Jardim do Passeio Alegre said:

"Porto intends to continue to design itself as 'green' - oriented not only by environmental criteria and concerns, but also without neglecting the new management challenges and the expectations of the community. The Green Flag Award now represents the recognition of the effort and dedication made in the construction and conservation of the most emblematic municipal green spaces of the City."

Jardim do Passeio Alegre

The project to bring the Green Flag Award to Porto was a long time ambition of Claudia Fernandes, director of the landscape architecture course, at the Faculty of Sciences of University of Porto, where she teaches horticulture and management of public green spaces. Claudia made the initial contact with Keep Britain Tidy and helped to co-ordinate the applications of all 3 winners.

Claudia said:

"As a teacher and researcher I have always seen the Green Flag Award as a way to encourage students to take an interest in the field of landscape architecture. I am also fully convinced that it will be important for the dissemination of Portuguese landscape heritage, helping us to protect and preserve it by continually improving our management and maintenance processes. I very much hope that now that the first step is taken, many other parks and public gardens in the country can follow the example of Porto, and Portugal may have many more Green Flag Awards on the map."

Map of Porto

Carl McClean, International Development Manager for the Green Flag Award said:

"This is a fantastic achievement for Porto and for everybody involved in the project to make it happen. Not only have they received the first Green Flag Awards in Portugal, but 3 in the first year in one city! The teams involved in preparing the sites and developing the Management Plans did a sterling job. Well done to all and a special thank you to Claudia Fernandes for her forward thinking vision."

Applications will now open up to other cities and towns in Portugal to apply. Lisbon is the 2020 European Green Capital of the year, and may loo towards the Green Flag Award to boost the reputation of it's many parks and gardens.

To find out more, or apply for an Award, whichever country you are based in, visit:
 www.greenflagaward.org

If you know of a park or a country not yet involved in the Green Flag Award that might be interested, get in touch with the Green Flag Award team: greenflagawards@keepbritaintidy.org