To inform the draft Open Space Strategy, the Council held a stakeholder workshop in May 2016 involving groups and organisations from across the city with an interest in open space.
Participants were asked to consider:
the different uses that greenspaces should provide, from small local spaces to large neighbourhood parks;
how greenspace could encourage people of all ages to keep active; and
the quality of greenspace in a sample of new developments.
Members of the public were then invited to have their say on the draft Strategy, including the ideas from the workshop, through an online survey.
The survey was shared via social media, Edinburgh Civic Forum, Neighbourhood Partnerships, Edinburgh City Libraries, park notice boards, Friends of Parks, Edinburgh Leisure, cafes and schools.
Based on the broad support received for the Strategy’s principles, the final Strategy was approved at Planning Committee in December 2016 and can now be used to guide greenspace management and planning decisions.
Open Space 2021 puts renewed emphasis on the benefits of open space and the Strategy clarifies how open space is protected by Planning policy and legal constraints.
New targets were set in order to improve access to quality greenspaces and play areas over the next 5 years.
An update to the Edinburgh Design Guidance will explain how new greenspaces should meet the Strategy’s standards, based on comments from the stakeholder workshop.
In addition to continuing to raise the quality of public parks, the Strategy supports the creation of further community gardens, expansion of the Edinburgh Living Landscape initiative and improvements to cemeteries and burial grounds.
The basis of four Open Space Action Plans plans, aligned with Edinburgh’s Localities, has been agreed to support delivery of the Strategy.
The Open Space Strategy will be linked to a new Physical Activity and Sport Strategy.