19 November 2013

Online park map could be ‘remedy’ for budget cuts

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.’

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Interim Head of Fostering

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Fostering, the local authority was last inspected as “... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers, the local authority... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Head of Regeneration and Economy

City of York Council
£59,593 - £68,094
York is a wonderful place to live and work and it is quite rightly famous across the globe. York, North Yorkshire / Hybrid
Recuriter: City of York Council

Clinical Lead, North Essex

Essex County Council
Clinical Lead, North EssexPermanent, Full TimeUp to £57,869 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Legal,&Governance/Monitoring Officer

Rochdale BC
£70,340 - £81,589
The Assistant Director role has breadth of responsibility beyond legal services incorporating Constitutional and Democratic Services Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Rochdale BC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.