17th June 2019

Greenkeeper has this week been commissioned to provide valuation and support to each of the eight cities selected to receive grant funding through the Future Parks Accelerator initiative.

The eight FPA selected cities to secure funding and support are;

•   Birmingham
•   Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
•   Bristol
•   Cambridgeshire (county-wide, covering seven council areas)
•   Edinburgh
•   Islington and Camden
•   Nottingham
•   Plymouth

Greenkeeper will provide economic, environmental and social value assessments to inform the strategic enhancement programmes proposed by each of the eight places selected. The team, led by Vivid Economics and Barton Willmore, will then work with each location to support them in interpreting the outputs and enhancing their portfolios, in line with their individual bids and ambitions.

As an intelligent model, Greenkeeper draws upon a large variety of datasets (including mobile phone location data) to model current usage of green spaces, and in turn apply emerging research approaches to value the health and wellbeing benefit these spaces provide. More fully understanding and quantifying the health benefits offered by green infrastructure is of particular relevance to this cohort of places. A number of the councils are specifically seeking to improve social cohesion and health across their communities, as well as tie in more closely with the NHS and other health providers, to drive a preventative approach to healthcare.

By providing a clearer view of the value inherent within our green infrastructure, Greenkeeper aims to shift the debate in these projects from the challenge of budget constraints to one of appreciating the value they offer and focusing funding streams and investment into delivering an enhanced level of greenspace provision.

Robin Smale, Director at Vivid Economics comments: “We are delighted to be working with this engaged audience of public sector professionals, and look forward to supporting them in their ambitions to enhance their existing green infrastructure portfolios. The collaborative teams in each location demonstrate the wealth of interest and impact this initiative could have on shaping our urban environments going forwards. Natural Capital Accounts have significantly aided our understanding of the value green infrastructure can provide, but this tool enables us to extend this understanding considerably and to interpret and test proposals for developers and local authorities alike.”

John Haxworth, Partner at Barton Willmore added: “Greenkeeper allows us to deliver a more informed and intelligent view of the value of our existing green infrastructure and how our precious green spaces can be enhanced to better meet the needs of all of their users. Working with the public and private sector we hope to inform strategic plans and the design process and enhance the quality of both our existing and proposed urban green infrastructure going forwards. The Future Parks Accelerator programme is a fantastic opportunity for us to work with ambitious, engaged cities and places. We look forward to applying Greenkeeper to a range of challenges across the country and informing the debate about the future of greenspace provision in the UK’s towns and cities.”


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