Collaborative Green Infrastructure Design Group K

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Collaborative Green Infrastructure Design for the Rural Settlement Tvrdošovce and its Surrounding Landscape

authors (in alphabetical order): Kimia Kiani (KK) - Milena Stefanovic (MS) - Attila Toth (AT) - Fadera Williams (FW)

Name Tvrdošovce Municipality
Location Nitra Region / Danube Lowland
Country Slovakia
Authors (in alphabetical order) Kimia Kiani - Milena Stefanovic - Attila Toth - Fadera Williams
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Landscape and Urban Context of the Case Study

  • Biogeography and Overall Character

The geographical location and high quality arable land have predestined agriculture to become the main land use of the municipal territory of Tvrdošovce (Tardoskedd) since centuries. The soil fertility has an organic origin based on specific natural and water conditions formed by wetlands and marshlands, small watercourses and bodies of water within and around the rural settlement. The small intra-urban lakes stand for an ecological peculiarity and natural value of the site and they have become an integral component of the intra-urban area due to urban development. The small rural town is spatially and functionally linked with the surrounding agricultural landscape. The high soil fertility is one of the major potentials of the municipality and its future quality is determined by a sustainable water management in the landscape. The municipality of Tvrdošovce is located in the Danube Lowland, at an altitude of 112 to 125 metres above mean sea level. It lies on the main state road I/75. The total cadastral territory is 55.56 km2. Tvrdošovce borders on 6 municipalities - Vlčany, Selice, Jatov, Rastislavice, Šurany and Palárikovo.

(AT 2012; Master Plan of Tvrdošovce Municipality 2006)

  • Potential Natural Vegetation

The potential natural vegetation of the site is represented by Ash-Elm-Oak Forests in Catchment Areas of Major Rivers ("hard" floodplain forests) with the representation of following species: Ulmenion (Ulmus minor, Ulmus laevis, Quercus robur, Sambucus nigra, Allium ursinum, Anemone ranunculoides). The potential natural vegetation in the surrounding areas is represented by Willow-Poplar Forests in Floodplains of Large Rivers ("soft" floodplain forests) (Southwest) and Hygrophilous Lowland Peri-Pannonian Oak-Hornbeam Forests (Northeast).

(AT 2012; Landscape Atlas of the Slovak Republic, 2002)

  • Geology, Soil & Water

The geological bedrock consists of Neogene sedimentary basins comprised of gray and multicoloured clays, dust, sand, gravel, lignite layers, freshwater limestones and tuffs. The main geochemical rock types are sandstones and clay stones. The site belongs to the sub-region of fluvial deposits and aeolian sands on fluvial deposits. The whole area is located in the region of tectonic depressions. The Quaternary cover is predominantly alluvial humic loam or loamy-sandy to gravelly-sandy loam of floodplains. The basic relief type is represented by plains or softly undulating plains. The relief shape is characterized by loess plateaus. The area lies on the interface between two geomorphologic units - flatlands of the Danube River and hilly areas of the Nitra Region.

Nearly the entire municipal territory of Tvrdošovce is covered by the most fertile soil types of Slovakia - Mollic Fluvisols and Chernozems. The agricultural land has high humus content (2.3 %). There are also local Salt Marshes and Solonetzes of carbonate-fluvial and loess sediments. In terms moisture regime, the soils range from moderately dry to moderately moist with a neutral to slightly alkaline soil-reaction. In terms of granularity, there are non-skeletal loamy-sandy, sandy-loamy and loamy soils.

The most important hydro-geological collectors are clays, gravels and sands. The whole area belongs to the Váh River Basin. There are small watercourses (streams), mainly with a soil ameliorating (land draining) function, relatively low flow rates and an unsatisfactory quality of water. These anthropogenic micro-river-basins underwent vast water management adjustments. Only some small streams have an unadjusted bed. Most of the watercourses have a strong oxygen deficiency and a high level of eutrophication. North of the urban area, there is an irrigation water reservoir with an area of 1 ha used as a pond. The groundwater is stabilized at a depth of 2.9 to 3.5 m below the surface. There is a geothermal well at the south-eastern border of the urban area reaching a depth of 2,406 m and a temperature of 68 ° C to 71 ° C.

(AT 2012; Master Plan of Tvrdošovce Municipality 2006; Landscape Atlas of the Slovak Republic, 2002)

  • Climate, Temperature, Precipitation & Wind

The site is located in the hottest areas of Slovakia - the Danube Lowland. It belongs to the warm climate zone (warm and dry district with mild winter) and the lowland sub-zone of Slovak climate with prevailing oceanic influence.

The average annual air temperature ranges between 9 and 10 ° C. The average annual temperature of the active soil surface is higher than 12 ° C. The warmest month is July with an average air temperature of 19.7 ° C. The coldest month is January with an average air temperature of -2.1 ° C. There are on average 15 tropical days a year (days with a temperature above 30 ° C), 66 summer days (days with the highest air temperature ≥ 25 ° C) and 22 ice days (days with an air temperature of 0 ° C).

The mean annual rainfall is 541 mm - the highest rainfall is in June and July (58 mm). The maximum annual rainfall is 834 mm; the minimum annual rainfall is 308 mm. Snow cover lasts on average 37 days a year, the average maximum snow cover is 20 cm. Duration of the sunshine is approximately 2,200 hours per year. The average snow cover ranges between 6.2 and 16.8 cm. The average number of days with snow is 36, the maximum number of days with snow is 87 and the lowest number of days with snow is 3.

There is a prevailing north-westerly windflow, the overall wind conditions are mild, the average wind speed ranges from 2.6 to 4.6 metres per second.

(AT 2012; Landscape Atlas of the Slovak Republic, 2002)

  • Current Land Use Structure

Arable land (43.92 km2 / 79 %); Built-up area (3.44 km2 / 6 %); Permanent grasslands (2.84 km2 / 5 %); Bodies of water (1.67 km2 / 3 %); Gardens (1.26 km2 / 2 %); Orchards (0.83 km2 / 2 %); Vineyards (0.62 km2 / 1 %); Forests and Woods (0.41 km2 / 1 %); Other areas (0.58 km2 / 1 %)

(Master Plan of Tvrdošovce Municipality 2006)

  • Cultural Features, Local Identity, Architectural & Spatial Landmarks

The image of rural settlements and landscapes in the Danube Lowland is significantly formed by extensive agriculture with small forests and non-forest woody vegetation such as accompanying vegetation of field roads, railways, watercourses or other linear and areal elements of the landscape. Tvrdošovce can be understood in this context as a representative case study of large rural settlements in agricultural lowlands of south-western Slovakia. The perceived landscape is a far-reaching flatland that one may call "horizon landscape". The perceived landscape image is usually framed in by non-forest woody vegetation formations as only one smaller mountain range is visible in the distance (ranging from 142 to 829 MASL).

The main architectural landmark of Tvrdošovce as well as of other rural settlements in this region is the baroque church with a distinctive tower visible from far when approaching the small town. This architectural landmark is culturally bound to the perception of the site and therefore significantly forms the local identity through its cultural and historical legacy. Very specific landscape features are also other sacral elements in the form of small architecture, such as small sacral monuments, roadside crosses or other sacred sculptures usually accompanied by old deciduous trees such as Aesculus hippocastanum (in this region) and other trees such as Tilia sp., Quercus sp. and other species.

The most distinctive spatial feature of the town is the historic centre with a wide linear open space framed in on both sides by low architectural volumes (1-2 storey-buildings, mostly housing with front gardens). The public part of the open space consists of a central green space which is framed in by a road with pathway. The uniqueness of this streetscape is underlined by the central green space and the historical legacy of the oldest part of the urban area. The site is dominated by the main architectural landmark - the church located in the geographical centre of the historical town centre. This distinctive spatial arrangement of rural settlements is referred to as Anger or Angerdorf (in German literature), Náves (in Slovak and Czech literature) or Orsós Falu (in Hungarian literature). As the Anglo-Saxon urban development is different from the one in Central Europe, it is hard to define a relevant English equivalent to these terms, but a similar urban structure is referred to as The Common or Village with a Common or Green Village in English literature.

  • History & Dynamics from the Early Bronze Age till the 1950s

The first signs of settlement date back to the Early Bronze Age and later to the Early and Late Roman Period. The famous Limes Romanus stretched about 2-3 km south of the settlement. After approximately 2 centuries of Slavonic settlement, the first Hungarian settlement is dated back to 970-1020, approximately a century after the arrival of Hungarian settlers to the Danube Lowland, due to the marshy character of the landscape. This swampy land was a kind of protective space for the inhabitants throughout the centuries till the Middle Ages.

The first written report dates back to 1221. The settlement laid on an important medieval road from Budapest to Bohemia and Poland. The Tatars bypassed the village in 1241 because of the swampy ground.

In 1332 King Károly I. mentions the settlement under the name Turdesqed. In the 14th century the original church was built as a Romanesque chapel, later rebuilt with some elements of the Early Gothic. The settlement was intensively developing in the 13th and 14th century and is mentioned as Tardoskedde, Turdaskeddi, Turdesqued, Tardos Kegy and other variations (stabilized in the late 19th century to Tardoskedd).

In the 16th century, the settlement is already mentioned as a developed central village. It is mentioned among the richest villages of the region. During the Turkish incursions, the inhabitants fled to the marshland called Faluhely in the surrounding landscape for almost 100 years.

Emperor Ferdinánd III. confers the right of small town "Mezőváros" (Lat. Oppidum, Eng. Market Town - ruled by a squire; which had the right to organize markets, but did not have the right to build a fortification or town wall, only paling was allowed - Author´s Note). In the second half of the 17th century, Turkish troops plundered the settlement. The inhabitants hid again in the marshlands which surrounded the town. In the tax register from 1664, the town is referred to as personal property of a Turkish Pasha. The Nové Zámky Fortress (near Tardoskedd) was conquered (reclaimed) in 1685 by the imperial chieftain Charles of Lorraine.

In the 18th century, the development of the settlement was marked by the Rákóczi Uprising (Rákóczi conquered the Nové Zámky Fortress in 1704). After this, the settlement becomes a big military camp with a military postal system. Based on a local legend/tradition, there was a battle between the Kuruc army (rebels against the Habsburgs - Author´s note) and the imperial army at the so called Rákóczi Hill (located in the present cemetery and marked with a historic monument - Author´s note), where hundreds of imperial (Habsburg) soldiers were conquered. In memory of winning the battle, a monument was built on the mentioned hill.

The church was vastly rebuilt in the period between 1707 and 1725 (into the present Baroque style - Author´s note); in 1753 a Calvary was built at the church. Under the reign of Maria Theresia (1740-1780), Tardoskedd became an important town on the royal road from Vienna to Buda with the right to organize markets. There were famous regional cattle fairs, possibility of horse re-harness and a large royal hotel near the town, in Csike, where even Maria Theresa stayed overnight several times. According to the census from 1779, the town had 2288 inhabitants.

After the revolution (1848-1849) the building of the railway from Budapest to Vienna through Marchegg was finished and opened in 1850. The first permanent post office was established in 1868.

After World War II., many privately owned properties were confiscated in 1948/1949 - all shops and inns were expropriated and managed by Jednota (consumer cooperative "Unity" - Author´s Note). In February 1950, the Unified Cooperative Farm was established, in order to manage the collectivisation of agriculture in the town. Besides expropriation of privately owned establishments and collectivisation of agricultural land, the town was markedly influenced by eviction and deportation of inhabitants. In 1948-1954, a sports complex was established in the garden of the wealthy Juhász Family Farmyard. Next to the stadium a swimming pool was built in 1955-1957.

(Tvrdošovce Municipality 2014; AT 2012-2014; Buda 2009)

  • Illustrations: maps; sketches; short descriptive analyses

What are the overall objectives of your design? What are the specific objectives for enhancing green infrastrucutre?

The overall objective of the collaborative design is to integrate the local green infrastructure system into a wider landscape context at a regional and inter-regional level and to further develop specific components of the green infrastructure and the system as a whole. The specific objectives are: 1) to conceptually link the local green infrastructure to the regional and inter-regional networks; 2) to improve the local green infrastructure connectivity; 3) to enhance the local green infrastructure by developing a specific component of the system, namely the lake in the extra-urban area.

Analytical drawings

Please add four analytical sketches/drawings (or montages/schemes) of your case. Every group member needs to contribute at least one drawing.

Projective drawings

Please add four projective sketches/drawings (or montages/schemes), of course with an emphasis on green infrastructure aspects. Every group member needs to contribute at least one drawing representing his/her individual ideas.

Design Synthesis

Please analyse the individual approaches presented so far and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses (you may use the SWOTanalysis model). Try to create a synthesis and represent it with a plan and some sketches. You can still use drawings/sketches.

Summary of the collaborative process

Which new aspects did the group members bring to this case?

Spatial analysis of current landscape structure by layer maps, land use, biogeography, water and water networks, vegetation, connectivity, regional and supra-regional European green infrastructure – wider perspective – European Green Belt, recreational and food aspects of fishing, economic and labour aspects.

Which aspects caused conflicts of interests?

No significant problems, different work attitudes, some of us had problems to choose a relevant issue and specific topic for analysis and design, data flow – demand – possibilities – supply, personal brainstorming not possible.

How did you resolve this?

E-mail and Skype communication, patience in co-operation with each other, request to specify and narrow down the range of demanded data.

What were the benefits?

Learning new approaches from each other, practicing different ways of online communication, improving the organisational and coordinating skills, friendy communication between group members, sharing interdisciplinar and international perspectives.

Image Gallery

Exploring the Features of the Landscape within and around Tvrdošovce


BUDA, František. 2009. Tvrdošovce-Tardoskedd: Kapitoly o minulosti, súčasnosti, obyvateľstve a zaujímavostiach Tvrdošoviec. Komárno: Print-K, 2009, 334 s., ISBN 978-80-970181-9-1.

TÓTH, Attila - FERIANCOVÁ, Ľubica. 2013. Green Infrastructure in the Context of Rural Space Restoration and Design. In: Nordic Journal of Architectural Research. Vol. 25, No. 2. pp. 187-212. ISSN 1893-5281.

TÓTH, Attila. 2013. Green Infrastructure: Planning and Design of Rural Landscapes - Case Study: Cergát-Váh, Tvrdošovce. In: Kubišta, R. (eds.): Trendy v krajinotvorbe [Trends in Landscape Design]. Nitra: Slovak University of Agriculture, 2013, pp.52-59. 59 p. ISBN 978-80-552-1033-9.

TÓTH, Attila. 2013. Green Infrastructure Planning for Sustainable Rural Development. In: Neményi, M. et al. (eds.): Science for Sustainability: International Scientific Conference for PhD Students: Proceedings, University of West Hungary, Győr, March 19-20, 2013. Sopron: University of West Hungary Press, 2013, pp. 392-397. 414 p. ISBN 978-963-334-103-2.

TÓTH, Attila. 2013. Current challenges in rural development in terms of landscape planning and landscape architecture: Case study of Tvrdošovce, Slovakia / A vidékfejlesztés aktuális tájtervezési és tájépítészeti kihívásai: Esettanulmány - Tardoskedd, Szlovákia. In: Talentum - Hensch Árpád nyomdokain: A Gazdálkodásban publikált PhD hallgatók és kutatók III. országos tudományos konferenciája [CD]. Mosonmagyaróvár : University of West-Hungary, 2013, pp. 1-6. 178 p. ISBN 978-963-334-108-7 (CD with full papers), ISBN 978-963-334-107-0 (printed proceeding of abstracts, p. 62).

TÓTH, Attila - SUPUKA, Ján. 2014. Greenways: A Landscape Planning Tool for Restoration of Linkages in the Landscape. In: Berichte des Instituts Verkehr und Raum: How to push the implementation of the European Green Belt by landscape policy instruments? Erfurt: Fachhochschule, Vol. 18, No. 1. pp. 93-103. ISSN 1868-8586.

TÓTH, Attila. 2013. Rural Landscape Transformations by the Example of the Village Tvrdošovce in Slovakia. In: Stará, Kristýna (Eds.): Landscape Transformations of the Post-Communist Countries. Prague: Czech Technical University, 2013, pp.54-59. 200 p. ISBN 978-80-01-05431-4.

TÓTH, Attila - FERIANCOVÁ, Ľubica. 2013. The Role of Landscape Architecture in Rural Development. In: Škarpa, P. et al. (Eds.): MendelNet 2013 - Proceedings of International PhD Students Conference. Brno: Mendel University, 2013, pp.516-520. 955 p. ISBN 978-80-7375-908-7.

TÓTH, Attila - FERIANCOVÁ, Ľubica. 2014. By Improvement of the Green Infrastructure towards Sustainable Landscapes and Resilient Environments. In: G20 Youth Forum 2014 Conference Proceedings, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Genève: G8&G20 Alumni Association, 2014, pp.405-410. 695 p. ISSN 2297-0134.

TÓTH, Attila - BIHUŇOVÁ, Mária - HALAJOVÁ, Denisa - ŠTĚPÁNKOVÁ, Roberta. 2014. Interactions of Recreation and Landscape Protection in Slovakia. In: Journal of Landscape Management. Vol. 5, No. 1. pp. 51-55. ISSN 1804-2821.

TÓTH, Attila - FERIANCOVÁ Ľubica. 2013. Zelená infraštruktúra ako efektívny nástroj na ochranu a tvorbu udržateľnej krajiny [Green Infrastructure as an Efficient Tool for Protection and Design of Sustainable Landscapes]. In: Igaz, D. (eds.): Recenzovaný zborník z medzinárodnej vedeckej konferencie – ENVIRO Nitra 2013 [reviewed scientific proceedings]. Nitra: Slovak University of Agriculture, 2013, pp.179-187. 203 p. ISBN 978-80-552-1101-5.

TÓTH, Attila – FERIANCOVÁ, Ľubica. 2012. Krajinárske úpravy vidieckeho sídla Tvrdošovce [Landscape Architectural Design of the Rural Settlement Tvrdošovce]. In: Štěpánková, R. (eds.): Zborník príspevkov zo študentskej vedeckej konferencie FZKI 2012 [Proceeding from the Student Scientific Conference]. Nitra : SPU v Nitre, 2012, pp. 148-154. 154 p. ISBN 978-80-552-0888-6.

TÓTH, Attila – FERIANCOVÁ, Ľubica. 2011. Vidiecke sídlo – súčasť kultúrnej krajiny [Rural Village as Part of the Cultural Landscape]. In: Štěpánková, R. (eds.): Zborník príspevkov zo študentskej vedeckej konferencie FZKI 2011 [Proceeding from the Student Scientific Conference]. Nitra : SPU v Nitre, 2011, pp. 227-233. 233 p. ISBN 978-80-552-0676-9.

TÓTH, Attila. 2012. Landschaftsarchitektonische Neugestaltung und Entwicklung ländlicher Räume: Projektarbeit [Landscape Architectural Restoration and Development of Rural Spaces: project thesis]. München : GRIN Verlag GmbH, 2012. 24 p. ISBN 978-3-656-31030-3 (e-book); ISBN 978-3-656-31058-7 (book).

TÓTH, Attila. 2011. Theorie der Grünen Netze [Theory of Green Networks]. In: Damyanovic, D. (eds.): Nachhaltige Stadtplanung und –entwicklung am Beispiel der Stadt Salzburg : Projekt [Sustainable urban planning and development on example of Salzburg City : project]. Vienna : BOKU Wien, 2011. pp. VII_3-6, 205 p.

TÓTH, Attila. 2013. Tvorba plôch verejnej zelene vo vidieckom priestore [Public Green Space Design in Rural Areas] [online]. In: Certifikácia ubytovacích zariadení na vidieku a regionálne značenie produktov a služieb - odborný seminár. Nitra : Národná sieť rozvoja vidieka, 2013. 7 p. Available at: [Accessed 08 October 2013].

TÓTH, Attila. 2012. Krajinárske úpravy vidieckeho sídla Tvrdošovce : diplomová práca [Landscape Architectural Design of the Rural Settlement Tvrdošovce : master thesis]. Nitra : SUA, 2012. 67 A3 p.

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