Glasgow City Council today (6 February) adopted the Open Space Strategy for the city – a document that will identify and guide how open space can be used to improve health, liveability and the resilience of Glasgow.
Open spaces in Glasgow are diverse and include the city’s parks, gardens, allotments, civic spaces, rivers, lochs and ponds.
A draft version of the strategy was put out to public consultation, and the overwhelmingly positive response – along with the input of other stakeholders – helped to inform the future response.
Through the Open Space Strategy (OSS), there is now the ability to analyse open spaces on a local level, audit existing open spaces and their functions, and use this information to guide engagement on how best to use and manage these open spaces.
A process has been identified to help monitor and deliver how the strategy can achieve its aims of enhancing local quality of life and the environment, and this is shown below:
- Establish current and future need;
- Plan for current and future need;
- Inform future use; and
- Deliver future use.
Through this process, the strategy’s action plan will help to deliver the aims of a more healthy, liveable and resilient Glasgow.
The strategy will direct future decisions on open spaces, such as whether they should be enhanced or used for other open space purposes; where priorities for maintenance may lie; and where opportunities may exist to plant trees or let them regenerate naturally. It will also identify where new open spaces should be created and where using existing open spaces for other purposes may be appropriate.
The strategy has responded to the Climate Emergency – open space has a key role to play in providing for both carbon savings and in helping the city adapt to climate change – as well as the council’s recently-published Pollinator Plan, and will be published as an accessible, easy to read document.
Discussions with local communities and organisations will take place to establish aspirations for open spaces in their areas, and the council will work with partners – such as the NHS – to deliver mutually supporting aims. The strategy will also help to co-ordinate the roles, policies and strategies of council services with open space responsibilities.
Delivery of the strategy will also see the council supporting community groups to manage open spaces through asset transfer, participatory working and/or co-production; identifying options for maintaining open spaces less intensively – for instance, growing trees can reduce grass cutting that generate benefits for biodiversity; investigate where our open spaces might be able to generate income – e.g. by generating renewable heat or energy; and identifying whether there may be open spaces that are not needed to meet current or future need and where income may be generated from their sale.
Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “Our open spaces are enormously important to us, socially, economically and environmentally, and considering how we can best use them is crucial to our future quality of life and success. The Open Space Strategy for Glasgow will guide us in our efforts to make the city more healthy, liveable and resilient.”