The city council wants to explore what it means to be a thriving green city and ensure outdoor spaces deliver benefits in areas such as health, active travel, biodiversity and social cohesion.
Edinburgh City Council has launched a series of surveys inviting anyone who lives or works in Edinburgh to share their views and help shape a new vision for the city’s natural environment.
The aim of the Thriving Green Spaces project is to come up with a 30-year strategy and action plan for the ongoing “enhancement, protection and care” of the Scottish capital’s green spaces.
In three short, interactive surveys, the council is asking residents and visitors how they use the city’s parks and green spaces and what their aspirations are for them.
The project has been made possible by a £899,500 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and the Natural Trust (NT), which have joined together to provide funding to local authorities to enable them to develop bold and innovative financial and management solutions for their green spaces against a backdrop of financial uncertainty.
“Edinburgh is already a wonderfully green city – the UK’s greenest, in fact – and we want to ensure it remains that way for generations to come. Thanks to this much-sought-after funding we’ve been able to get to work on our approach to this challenge,” said Amy McNeese Mechan, council parks leader and project champion, City of Edinburgh.
“The data gathered in these surveys will be key information which we will use to inform the new 30-year strategy for the capital’s parks and green spaces. It will determine how we change and adapt the ways in which we manage our outdoor spaces, to make sure that they continue to play an active role in delivering benefits in areas such as health and wellbeing, active travel, biodiversity, recreation and social cohesion.”
“It will determine how we change and adapt the ways in which we manage our outdoor spaces, to make sure that they continue to play an active role in delivering benefits”
Alongside the council, bid partners are: Greenspace Scotland; Scottish Wildlife Trust; Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust; University of Edinburgh; and the Edinburgh Green Spaces Forum (the umbrella group for Edinburgh’s friends of parks groups).
“There is an army of volunteers across the city who work alongside the council to support our parks, green spaces and cemeteries,” added John Kerr, chair of Edinburgh Green Spaces Forum.
“They are passionate about our green spaces, and now, as more people begin to realise how important these green spaces are to the health and wellbeing of all our residents and visitors, they look forward to this project creating a sustainable long term environment for managing and supporting our green spaces into the future.”
The surveys were developed with the help of a number of master’s degree students from the landscape and wellbeing programme at the University of Edinburgh.
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