The urban communities of Inverclyde have been centres of high unemployment, poor health and social exclusion. The area suffered badly from the rapid decline of primary industries in the latter half of the Twentieth Century. In particular, the collapse of waterfront heavy industry created mass unemployment and a loss of population from which the area is still recovering.
The area benefits from a rich resource in terms of historical, cultural and natural heritage. For example, the urban communities of Inverclyde are closely linked to the river Clyde and Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park. However, the people that live in these communities often feel cut off from these assets and, as a result, they are underused.
Inverclyde is slowly recovering and renewing its character through investment in its town centres, waterfront and housing estates. As part of this regeneration the 'Area Renewal and the Inverclyde Green Network: Integrated Master Planning of New Neighbourhoods' report was completed by ERZ Ltd in December 2010. It recognised that the Green Network is crucial to the wider regeneration of the local authority and that the redevelopment of significant parts of the area offers a unique opportunity to mitigate many of Inverclyde's underlying deprivation problems.
The 'Area Renewal' report highlighted the need to create green links between the Clyde Waterfront and Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park. It recommended the creation of a network of usable routes and open spaces through residential areas and the creation of two community parks. It was hoped that the implementation of these proposals would be a significant step towards establishing a well-connected Green Network in Inverclyde and reducing the overarching problem of neighbourhood isolation.
Building on the work completed by ERZ, Inverclyde Council commissioned consultants Ironside Farrar to develop concept designs for the implementation of five projects. This work was presented in the form of five case studies and was carried out in collaboration with project partners, local stake holders, landowners and local communities.
The Inverclyde Green Network Case Studies address the issue of neighbourhood isolation. They recommend investment in existing transport infrastructure such as core paths, cycle routes, and rail and bus stations, to create three key links between the Clyde waterfront, local towns and Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park. The case studies also promote urban greening and propose the creation of two neighbourhood parks as attractive greenspace for local residents use.
The proposals for the three strategic links and two neighbourhood parks were developed as Early Action Projects. Detailed plans and 3D visualisations were provided along with an indicative budget for each stage of the project. It is hoped that these detailed proposals will facilitate the implementation of the project and will act as a tool for use in future funding applications.
The proposals outlined in the case studies encourage active travel and healthier lifestyles through investment in path networks and cycle paths. The prosed links between the Clyde waterfront and Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park will ease neighbourhood isolation by linking the urban population with both the natural environment and the business developments along the Clyde waterfront.
"Operating on a number of scales – strategic, local and neighbourhood – the original ERZ concept study represented a breakthrough in innovative thinking on the potential of Green Networks to be fully embedded in area renewal and wider regeneration, and as a result were raised in the Council's Main Issues Report in May 2011.
The case studies taken forward by Ironside Farrar are therefore equally critical to the future regeneration process in Inverclyde, being more focussed on actual implementation than the original concept. It is hoped that they will also be taken forward in Inverclyde's emerging Local Development Plan: Proposed Plan, due to be published later this year."
Aubrey Fawcett, Corporate Director, Regeneration and Environment, Inverclyde Council
CSGN funding enabled Inverclyde Council to prepare five fully costed projects, which can be implemented should funding become available. If implemented, these projects will help to link the urban populations of Inverclyde to the surrounding natural environment and the business developments along the Clyde waterfront. Investment path networks and cycle paths will encourage active travel and the creation of new parks will provide habitats for wildlife and improve the biodiversity of the area.
Using the detailed proposals and budgetary information provided, Inverclyde Council is seeking funding and support for the implementation of the five projects identified in the case studies. It will promote these projects along with the existing green network through improved signage and marketing.
|2011||CSGN Development Fund||29,175|