News Archive

Its Our Space

by msecadm4921

A guide for community groups working to improve public space is available on the Government’s crime reduction website.

The government says that it is keen for community groups to have greater control over how the local environment is managed and improved. It has set out clear agendas on these issues to make open spaces cleaner, safer and greener.

Grants and funding programmes have been made available for community groups to become involved in improving outdoor spaces. With the help of the Big Lottery Fund and other funding bodies this looks set to continue. This guide is intended to help community groups to get the best out of their outdoor spaces, and to help maximise the impact of their efforts on the ground.

The authors are CABE Space (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment). The 115
page report is applicable to a range of public space projects ranging from minor improvements to refurbishing existing spaces and creating new ones. Public space is the green spaces, parks, streets, civic squares and other outdoor spaces that are freely accessible to the public and usually free of charge. Typically these are:

parks and public gardens
natural and semi-natural spaces (including wastelands and derelict open land)
green corridors
outdoor sports facilities
amenity green spaces
provision for children and young people
allotments, community gardens and city farms
cemeteries, churchyards and other burial grounds
accessible countryside in urban fringe areas
civic spaces, including civic and market squares and other hard surfaced areas designed for pedestrians.

A public space is continuously changing – planting matures and changes over time and a park in winter will feel very different to one in the summer. The way a place is managed and maintained can have a great impact on how it looks and feels. A well-designed public space will also need to be well-managed.

You can download It’s our space – A guide for community groups working to improve public space:

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