Green infrastructure is the network of high quality greenspaces that intersperse and connect our cities, towns and villages. It can provide multiple social, economic and environmental benefits, and includes parks, open spaces, woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, river and canal corridors, allotments and private gardens.
As a result of government spending cuts, there is a need to find innovative ways of investing limited resources. With this in mind, Clackmannanshire Council sought to maximise the benefits of green infrastructure by aligning their greenspace investment with their community wellbeing and health agendas.
Clackmannanshire Council employed a consultant to undertake an analysis of Clackmannanshire's greenspace. The aim of this analysis was to provide a vision to guide future greenspace investment.
The study sought to highlight the wider benefits of greenspace. It focused on green infrastructure, health and community wellbeing and included an overview of recent research on these issues.
A desk based study was conducted utilising GIS and other readily available data sets. It focused on environmental, social and economic data to determine priority areas for investment in habitat networks, accessibility and climate change adaptation.
As part of the project the consultants led a stakeholders' workshop. The aim of this workshop was to outline the work being done by the consultants and seek feedback on the strategy being evolved through the study.
The project brought together information from a variety of sources to produce a vision and action plan for the future management of and investment in the Clackmannanshire's greenspace. It produced a spatial understanding of Clackmannanshire in terms of socio economic and environmental factors, and an analysis of opportunities to utilise green infrastructure to improve community wellbeing.
The stakeholders' workshop raised the profile of the wider benefits of green infrastructure and, as a result, has increased support for investment in this area.
"The Greenspace Mapping project has highlighted the linkages between greenspace and community well-being which has been influential in the development of the Clackmannanshire Local Development Plan as well asour Open Space Strategy. It has also proved of value to community planning partners in taking forward project work on the ground and will continue to influence Clackmannanshire's approach to future greenspace investment for multi benefits" - Niall Urquhart, Team Leader (Sustainability), Clackmannanshire Council
Clackmannanshire Council viewed green infrastructure as a significant feature in advancing health and community wellbeing. However, it did not have the resources to undertake a comprehensive mapping, analysis and research project to provide a framework for decision-making. Support from the CSGN Development Fund was essential in bringing to the fore the beneficial impacts that investment in green infrastructure can have on health and community wellbeing.
The study is being utilised as a framework to develop policies and proposals on green infrastructure. It is being used to develop a Local Development Plan and Open Space Strategy, and provides Clackmannanshire Council with the information it requires to effectively target resources at projects which will have the biggest impact on the health and wellbeing of Clackmannanshire's residents.
|2010||CSGN Development Fund||31,980|