Greenspace for Scottish towns and cities

Posted: 6 March 2003

Town and city dwellers living in Scotland will become happier, healthier and live longer through improved access to quality greenspace, according to a new Scottish body.

Greenspace Scotland aims to ensure that the 80 per cent of Scots who are urban dwellers will be no more than a 15 minute walk from a quality local greenspace, resulting in their improved mental and physical health, as well as supporting wildlife and biodiversity.

© GreenspaceAs well as conventional 'natural' open spaces and green corridors, such as rivers, canals, parks and amenity grassland, the new organisation's definition of greenspace also includes derelict, contaminated and vacant land that has the potential to be transformed.

Research has shown that access to quality greenspace is vital to the physical and mental well being of every urban Scottish dweller, contributing to a healthier environment, fostering a sense of community and being dramatically safer than areas devoid of greenery, with fewer crimes occurring against people and property.

The benefits of greenspace include, increased life expectency, reduced stress, better staying power in terms of maintaining exercise programmes that are based out of doors, improved concentration and motor skills in children developed through play.

In addition there are economic benefits associated with greenspace too, with owners of small companies ranking recreation, parks and open spaces as the highest priority in choosing a new location for their business.

Over the next three years Greenspace Scotland will work to position greenspace at the heart of Scottish urban regeneration, working with other national organisations, agencies and the private sector.

Greenspace Scotland and its network of local partnerships will also play a central role in delivering the Scottish government's environmental justice agenda. Providing Scotland's first national voice on greenspace issues, Greenspace Scotland is funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and the New Opportunities Fund.