Community Green: a report on using local spaces to tackle inequality and improve health

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 16:08

schermata-2010-07-14-a-160350A recent report published by CABE, the UK government’s advisor on architecture, urban design and public space, Community Green: using local spaces to tackle inequality and improve health reveals how improving urban green spaces represents an important and cost-effective opportunity for people to transform their local neighbourhoods and can significantly contribute to better health (physical and mental) and the general wellbeing of residents in inner-city areas.

Community green is the largest study of its kind in England and relatively little research investigating income and race inequalities in relation to urban green space provision has been carried out elsewhere to date.

Interestingly, the study shows that although more and more people are using parks there is evidence of race and income inequalities in access to inner-city green areas. Research carried out in six deprived and ethnically diverse areas of England investigates how green space, ethnicity or deprivation, and health are related.

The report states: ‘providing good-quality local green space is a hugely effective way to tackle inequality. People living in deprived urban areas see green space as a key service alongside housing, health, education and policing – one of the essentials in making a neighbourhood liveable.’ However, due to the fact that green areas in deprived neighbourhoods are often unsafe or poorly maintained there are widely underused, infact the study found that only 1% of people living in social housing reported using the green space on their estate.


The four key findings in Community green are:

✪ Green space is a public resource with a proven track record in improving people’s health, but too many local green spaces remain unused
✪ People’s concerns about safety affect their use of local green space and vary by ethnicity
✪ Improving the quality of spaces will encourage more active use and exercise
✪ Local people are best placed to know what they want from green space

The potential of urban green space for social cohesion and integration is confirmed by existing research that shows how green space plays a role in easing racial tensions and bringing diverse groups together, for instance to play sport, and promoting integration by providing space for organised and casual encounters
with neighbours and different ethnic groups.

Community Green is essential reading for anyone who has a vested interest in creating a better quality of life in urban areas and provides a comprehensive analysis of people’s needs in a changing society.

Download Community Green here

Also published by CABE on the central importance of good quality urban green space is Decent homes need decent spaces An action plan to improve the quality of open spaces within social housing areas, prepared by CABE and the National Housing Federation in partnership with Neighbourhoods Green and over 30 social landlords.

Download Decent homes need decent space here

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6 Responses to “Community Green: a report on using local spaces to tackle inequality and improve health”

  1. Heather Fenyk says:

    July 14th, 2010 at %I:%M %p

    Cluster | City » Community Green: a report on using local spaces to tackle inequality and improve health http://bit.ly/cd7vIt

  2. Heather Fenyk says:

    July 14th, 2010 at %I:%M %p

    Cluster | City » Community Green: a report on using local spaces to tackle inequality and improve health http://bit.ly/cd7vIt

  3. jranck says:

    July 14th, 2010 at %I:%M %p

    Innovation » Community Green: a report on using local spaces to tackle inequality and improve health http://bit.ly/afCmJb

  4. Matthew Knight says:

    July 15th, 2010 at %I:%M %p

    Community Green: a report on using local spaces to tackle inequality and improve health http://bit.ly/bGbIkv

  5. Kristina says:

    July 15th, 2010 at %I:%M %p

    RT @webponce: Community Green: a report on using local spaces to tackle inequality and improve health http://bit.ly/bGbIkv

  6. Brett Throop says:

    August 11th, 2010 at %I:%M %p

    UK Commission 4 Arch. & Built Enviro (CABE) report on using local spaces to tackle inequality and improve health: http://bit.ly/cmtW4v

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