Parks Alliance Special Business Case Newsletter June 2020
News from The Parks Alliance
The Parks Alliance (TPA) is the voice of UK parks, representing the people and organisations that create, maintain, invest in and use the public
green spaces that we are proud to have at the heart of British life.
The Parks Alliance has published Making Parks Count – The Case for Parks. This newsletter is dedicated to the business case and the information and tools provided alongside it that can be used by all of the parks community to make parks count.
The Making Parks Count – The Case for Parks – was produced by TPA in conjunction with the Parks Action Group and funded by MHCLG. Although it was written prior to the pandemic, it sets out why parks are the smart investment, and should form part of the infrastructure investment being planned to kick start the post COVID19 economy and the overall Green Recovery.
Why Parks are a Smart Investment –the one page graphic of a park illustrating the numerous and multiple benefits of parks, as well as their value, is available to download and use.
Why Parks Matter Evidence Base – is available. It was produced to support Making Parks Count and includes a vast array for research publications and report on the benefits of parks and green spaces.
Resource Library for Parks – is available. It contains an array of guides and resources about managing and providing parks.
Making Parks Count Resources and Tools – is available. It contains links to other resources that will help you use the evidence and resources to make your parks count.
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During the COVID19 “lock down” parks were quite rightly championed by politicians and scientists as critical to people’s physical and mental wellbeing and people flocked to their local parks to take exercise, relax or just see their neighbours at a safe distance. Parks have always the most favoured community space and the pandemic strengthened this relationship revealing a greater appreciation of their everyday benefits whilst for parks services and researchers it exposed their proven, and multiple, wellbeing benefits.
The government says its committed to a post pandemic Green Recovery that is science-led, clean and resilient and will create employment in the industries of the future while ensuring we address the linked challenges of public health, climate change, and biodiversity. Although finalised just before the pandemic struck ‘Making Parks Count’ underlines how parks are uniquely placed to tackle these 21st century challenges and provide a significant return for any investment made to kick start the economy and as part of a comprehensive longer term Green Recovery.
Matthew Bradbury, The Parks Alliance’s Chair said: “Making Parks Count makes the case for parks. This is the first time that research and evidence of the proven benefits of parks in England has been brought together and a value placed on them at a national level. In doing we have exposed the magnitude of the true value of parks for decision makers in local and central government and across health and environment sectors. This shows why parks are a smart investment. Over the last decade the quality of some parks has fallen, the amount of urban green space reduced and opportunities for seizing these benefits lost. Ensuring parks are part of the post COVID kick start to the economy and the Green Recovery provide opportunities to turn this around.”
Why Parks are a Smart Investment‘Making Parks Count’ makes the business case for parks, why they matter and why they are a ‘smart investment’. The case illustrates how parks in England deliver over £6.6bn of health, climate change and environmental benefits each year including £2.2bn in avoided health costs alone and worth £140 per year for each urban resident. For every £1 spent on parks in England an estimated £7 in additional value for health and wellbeing and the environment is generated. The case clearly demonstrates that parks are a smart investment. Unfortunately, because these returns have never been properly understood, parks have suffered from years of underfunding and there remain gross inequalities in access to quality green spaces across the country. Making Parks Count presents the case for turning this around.
We have made the parks graphic on page 6 of the report available as an A3 poster. Please download it and stick on the wall, circulate around your parks community or send it your local councillors, MP or elected representative. Investment in civic or social infrastructure, such as good quality parks, has to be part of any broader investment being planned to kick start the economy post COVID19. It will also support the ‘levelling-up’ agenda in our most deprived neighbourhoods as well as any longer term Green Recovery. Parks are THE smart investment.
Resources Supporting Making Parks Count Making Parks Count – The Case for Parks drew on an extensive evidence base of reports and research analysing the value of parks in terms of economic, social, community, environmental and public health benefits. These can be accessed below.
Why Parks Matter – Evidence Base
The evidence base includes national surveys and reports on the benefits of parks. This evidence base supported the development of Making Parks Count – The Case for Parks.
Resource Library For Parks
The resource library includes resources and guides on the following:-
Paying for Parks
Making Parks Count Resources and Tools
A range of links to other resources that will help you use the evidence on the benefits of parks to design and deliver improvements to make your parks count. They include links to other organisations who can provide support or materials to help you think about your leadership and partnership challenges, access to up to date tools and resources on understanding the value and benefits of parks and resources to help those managing parks.