Dr Anna Barker

School of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences

Parks and Green Spaces Research and Practice Hub

Responsive Mode Impact Fund

 

The government recognises the value of parks in providing vibrant and inclusive green spaces that help to foster the health and well-being of diverse communities. However, there is a recognised gap in park managers and landscape professionals access to high quality academic research evidence to inform their decisions and practices and to help public, private and voluntary organisations understand the benefits of well-planned, designed, managed and maintained public space, particularly since the abolition of CABE Space in 2010. The report of the House of Commons inquiry into the Future of Public Parks (2017) recommended ‘establishing and maintaining an online parks information hub to make it easier for local authorities to find out about what other authorities are doing, to facilitate the sharing of learning and good practice, and to provide signposting to other sources of information or advice’ (2017, p.73). This project aims to address this gap by developing a research and practice ‘hub’ to facilitate knowledge exchange, share good practice, and foster collaboration and networking between researchers and practitioners. The hub will create a clear means of enabling research to inform policy and practice in the management and maintenance of urban nature/landscapes. THe hub will bring together: a register of experts from research and practice; a research map; and links to grey literature, policy documents, local authority parks and green spaces strategies. It will consult with the parks sector on the development and usability of the hub, and further functions that will enhance it. The hub will be an excellent resource providing benefits for park managers, landscape professionals, government departments, voluntary groups, researchers, funders, teachers and students.