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the GiGLer

The newsletter of Greenspace Information of Greater London CIC

Accessing open space

Tony Leach, London Parks & Green Spaces Forum

Sustainable and Accessible Urban Landscapes (SAUL) is a spatial planning project funded under the European Union’s Interreg IIIB* initiative. Partners from seven regions across Northwest Europe, including London, are working together to explore the role of socially inclusive spaces in the sustainable development of metropolitan regions. The London region, led by Groundwork London in partnership with the Greater London Authority and the London Parks and Green Spaces Forum developed the ‘Strategic Parks Project’, an initiative to tackle London’s deficiencies in regional and metropolitan parks.

EDAW Ltd were contracted to produce the project report, published in May 2006.The report provides guidance on how to develop a new strategic park by developing a generic methodology that is tested through four case studies. The case studies consider the constraints, opportunities, spatial context, demography, management and funding options for two regional and two metropolitan park opportunities.The outputs of the project will inform the development of policy (in the form of local development frameworks) as part of the first review of the London Plan, and provides guidance on implementation and management options for strategic parks.

In 2006, the Forum also led a project to map the progress of the boroughs’ open space strategies. A consultant used a questionnaire to assess the open space strategies prepared or in preparation across the thirty-two London boroughs to determine whether the strategies complied with the policy and guidance set out in GLA’s guidance (see article on page 3). The intention of the project was also to provide a clearer picture of the quality of strategies, and to identify examples of good practice.The exercise also highlighted difficulties encountered by boroughs compiling open space strategies.

This was updated this year, using the London Parks Benchmarking Group’s annual survey, with the following results:

2006 2007 Progress of London Borough Open Space Strategies
12 13 Completed OSS
7 9 In the process of preparing an OSS
9 8 Have an alternative strategy (not comprehensive OSS)
5 3 Do not have an OSS

* Interreg encourages closer European co-operation and integration through transnational spatial development initiatives which promote sustainable development.

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