To raise awareness of some of the key themes of Open Space 2021, Edinburgh’s new Open Space Strategy, we are holding a series of lunchtime training sessions for staff.
Professor Catharine Ward Thompson from the University of Edinburgh gave us a great overview of her research into why greenspace is good for us.
Catharine is Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University and directs OPENspace – the research centre for inclusive access to outdoor environments. The University is also one of the Council’s key partners for Edinburgh Living Landscape.
Catharine’s research has featured in the Green Health project for the Scottish Government, which looked at links between green space and stress in deprived urban populations. More recently Mobility, Mood and Place, focused on outdoor access and older people’s quality of life.
The City of Edinburgh Council in partnership with various organisations from the Southside, will be holding a Placemaking exercise to get your views on what you think works well and what doesn’t work so well in the Southside.
How to get involved
We will be carrying out a placemaking exercise using the Place Standard tool which has been developed by A&DS, the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland. We will take groups of people through the exercise in facilitated sessions. We’d like as many of the community as possible to get involved to help make the process work.
This is the third time we have used this process, so we know it is a successful tool. It will help inform the Town Centre Supplementary Guidance and the Southside Locality Improvement Plan.
Places that work well for the community have a significant influence on the health and well-being of individuals. The opposite is also true – places that do not work well have a negative impact on health and well-being. The aim of placemaking is to create successful places.
We can measure the success of a place through the use of a tool called the Place Standard . This consists of a series of indicators that allow the community to assess things like access to greenspace, general maintenance of an area and perception of safety. This tells us where a place is succeeding and where it is failing.
The Scottish Government’s policy on Architecture and Place – Creating Places sets the context for how we can deliver great places.
What will happen after the exercise?
This process will give us lots of information about the Southside and how it works well as a town and where it doesn’t and we can use this to inform what we do as a Council and how new development can support the qualities of the Southside.
This is not just another consultation, it is an opportunity to make a difference to the area in which you live, work and visit.
Information regarding these events is also available on the City of Edinburgh Council’s consultation hub.