Urban green nation

No-one knows exactly how many green spaces there are in England’s urban areas, where they are, who owns them or what condition they are in. Our new report starts to fill this information gap.

Northala Fields

Northala Fields. Photo by Form Associates.

Urban green nation: building the evidence base is the first review of its kind, investigating over 70 major data sources and an inventory of more than 16,000 individual green spaces. It sets out the evidence relating to the quantity, quality, use, accessibility, management and maintenance and value of public urban green space.

The analysis reveals that people use and value their parks and green spaces but that not everyone is benefiting equally. There are dramatic differences in provision according to people's socio-economic and cultural background, especially when areas of deprivation and affluence are analysed.

The research sets a baseline for data about urban green spaces to help co-ordinate provision, measure investment effects, evaluate policy initiatives and prepare baseline data for green and open space strategies. It highlights serious information gaps, clarifies the strengths and weaknesses of existing data and suggests where more work should be done.

Read the key findings of the report, our 20 facts about urban green space or the full analysis, which is structured around six themes:

  1. Quantity: type and amount of green space available in urban areas
  2. Quality: including subjective assessments and objective measures
  3. Use: how people use green space
  4. Proximity: the physical location of green space in relation to where people live and travel
  5. Management and maintenance: spending, staffing and how well a space is looked after
  6. Value: capturing how important green space is to people.

Green infrastructure at CABE