Greenspace Scotland has been working on a programme of Community Placemaking for Green Networks in Glasgow and West Lothian. Supported by Architecture + Design Scotland , SNH, Forestry Commission Scotland, Glasgow City Council, West Lothian Council and other local partners, this action research programme is exploring how Community Placemaking can be used to support green network development and examines its use in different settings (for example, run-down town centres and high streets, new residential developments and ‘neighbourhood-level transformations). Early findings show that Placemaking is a valuable tool for engaging communities in planning and developing green networks.
Communities quickly grasped the ‘people’ components of green networks; developing ideas for new access routes through greenspaces and green corridors, proposing new uses for underused spaces (including natural play and community growing) and greenspace settings for community activities and events. The less ‘people-focused’ concepts (for example, integrated habitat network and ecosystems services) are generally more difficult for stakeholders to engage with but these projects showed that these concepts are easier to introduce where there is a strong local context. For example, a local area at risk of flooding increases people’s understanding of the importance of surface water management; whilst loss of key local wildlife sites focuses attention on habitat networks.
Work is continuing on these projects and will report in the summer. Find out more about Greenspace Scotland’s Community Placemaking programmes and services here.