We're leading on a project to develop a new vision for the Capital’s green spaces which will ensure their ongoing enhancement, protection and care – and we want your views.
The Thriving Green Spaces project will shape an ambitious new vision for Edinburgh’s natural environment and produce a 30-year strategy and action plan to deliver that vision.
The next stage for the project team is to ask residents and visitors how they use our parks and green spaces and, importantly, what their aspirations are for them.
Launching today (Monday 29 June) the team have three short, interactive surveys for anyone who lives or works in Edinburgh.
These surveys have been developed with the help of a number of masters students from the Landscape and Wellbeing programme at the University of Edinburgh, one of the partners working with the Council on this project.
The project has been made possible by a £899,500 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and the Natural Trust (NT), who 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.
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).
City of Edinburgh Council Parks Leader and Project Champion, Amy McNeese Mechan, said: "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.
I’m excited that we are ready to launch this stage of the project and open dialogue with the public, together with our partners, to explore what it means to be a thriving green city. 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 greenspaces. 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. I would encourage everyone to learn more about the project through the website and share your views in our surveys."
Dave Gorman, Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability at University of Edinburgh, said: "The Covid19 emergency has demonstrated in the most tangible way possible the vital importance of nature and green space for everyone’s health and wellbeing. We are delighted to support this ground-breaking project as it moves into its public dialogue phase. I’m particularly pleased to see that our students and staff are supporting the work and urge people to take the chance to give their views."
Simon Bell and Catharine Ward Thompson, of the OPENspace Research Centre at University of Edinburgh, said: "We are very pleased that we can contribute, especially to the three surveys being launched today which are also part of research being carried out by masters students on our Landscape and Wellbeing programme. We want to help ensure that the health and well-being of the citizens of Edinburgh and those who work and visit here can be promoted through the provision of the best green and blue spaces the city can offer in the long term."
John Kerr of Edinburgh Green Spaces Forum said: "There is an army of volunteers across the city who work alongside the Council to support our parks, green spaces and cemeteries. 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."