Published: 17th Dec 2010

Green spaces should be fertile ground for the Big Society, says Tony Hawkhead. But as one successful scheme proves, it won’t happen without funding We all know it, even if there wasn’t copious evidence to prove it: the quality of the local environment can play a huge role in the development of stronger, healthier communities. The Victorians were the first to instigate this approach to mitigating industrialisation by creating a wealth of glorious parks – not just here but throughout the British Empire, many of which still retain their original splendour. It’s probably partly the legacy of that era which informs a generally held perception that access to good quality outdoor space is a basic right of living in this country. Green spaces are the ‘green lungs’ of our towns and cities, contributing to improving people’s physical and mental health by providing places for informal recreation – walking, cycling, sitting, socialising … (To read the full article, subscribe below)