19 November 2013

Online park map could be ‘remedy’ for budget cuts

Online park map could be ‘remedy’ for budget cuts image

An online map of national urban green spaces could improve the quality of parks and support community involvement, a report has concluded.

Warning council budgetary pressures are likely to have a ‘major impact’ on the quality of metropolitan green spaces, think tank Policy Exchange has urged the Government to establish a freely available, web based hub of urban green areas in the UK.

parkCouncil spending on green spaces has fallen by almost 40% over the past three years in the North East.

Local authorities cuts to green space budgets have varied across the country, with spending reduced by almost 40% in the North East and 3.4% in the South East over the past three years - findings from the Park Land study suggest.

An online map of parks would allow the public to monitor the quality of local spaces and report disrepair, using crowd-sourced information from central government, councils, NGOs and communities.

A map would ensure city-dwellers had adequate access to suitable green spaces, could monitor spending of public money and support communication of innovative practices Policy Exchange said.

The think tank highlighted the success of Lewisham Council’s ‘Love Lewisham’ app, which has allowed residents to photograph and immediately report graffiti or fly-tipping waste.

‘Urban green space forms a critical part of urban life that, despite improvements in recent years, remains under-resourced and under-supported, particularly given current budget cuts,’ the report said.

‘The single most important step that can be taken to help remedy this is the provision of accurate and detailed urban green space data. Without this, efforts to improve urban green spaces and make cities more liveable will continue to be chaotic and poorly directed.’

Welcoming the call for an urban green space map, network co-ordinator at the federation of city farms and community gardens, Ian Egginton-Metters, said: ‘A common typology across the UK will help communities input their views on the quality of provision and access, and stimulate engagement.’

Meeting new planning requirements for trees image

Meeting new planning requirements for trees

Concrete block permeable paving offers an important opportunity to help satisfy the requirement for extensive tree planting and retention of existing trees in developments. Chris Hodson reports.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Children's Safeguarding and Care 

Gloucestershire County Council
Up to £116,391, plus relocation support
We are looking to fill this vital role at a very important time for us.  Our children’s services team is on an important journey of... Gloucestershire
Recuriter: Gloucestershire County Council

Corporate Director

Ceredigion County Council
£97,294 - £104,086
We are looking to recruit an ambitious and truly transformational leader to support the delivery of modernised and sustainable services to... Penmorfa, Porthmadog
Recuriter: Ceredigion County Council

Street Works Co-ordinator

Lincolnshire County Council
£21,153 - £23,791
Do you want to make a difference to how Street Works are managed within Lincolnshire? Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Community Co-ordinator (Health inequalities)

Brent Council
£32,418 - £34,209 p.a. inc.
The successful candidate will have evidenced experience of working in a community environment. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Homelessness Prevention and Relief Officer

Brent Council
£32,418 - £34,209 p.a. inc. (pro-rata)
You must have an understanding of homelessness legislation, and an ability to learn legislation quickly with training, coupled with... Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue