Although urban open space is usually thought of as providing recreation, it serves many other purposes as well. Open space can provide beauty, privacy, and variety; moderate temperature; and create a sense of spaciousness and scale. It can protect a water supply; provide a noise and safety buffer zone around an airport; or substitute for development on unsuitable soils, in flood plains, or in earthquake zones.
—COUNCIL on ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, Environmental Quality, 1973
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