This is a process used primarily for outdoor spaces rather than for whole neighbourhoods. Other tools might be more appropriate for whole neighbourhoods unless looking only at the outdoor spaces between buildings.
It is based on the premise that successful places are characterised by lively, secure and distinctive public spaces that function for the people who use them. It involves working with the people who live in and/or use a particular place, in order to discover their needs and aspirations. This information is then used to create an agreed place vision and action plan which focuses on people and function rather than design-led solutions.
The Greenspace Scotland process involves systematic observations, interviews, surveys and place evaluation workshops with local communities and their partners. There is an emphasis on making both short term, often low cost, and long term changes. The place vision can evolve quickly into an implementation strategy, beginning with small scale, do-able improvements that can immediately bring benefits to places and the people who use them.
The process encourages a unique sense of community ownership and stakeholder support, enabling those with a diverse range of interests to identify and achieve a common purpose for the benefit of all. It can yield benefits far beyond making better spaces for people developing community identity, skills and capacity.
Four principles applied to the Greenspace process are;
- Identifying problems
- Developing the vision
- Making it happen
- Developing sustainable management processes