Social Responsibility and Sustainability

University-supported project will help local green spaces thrive

A collaboration between The City of Edinburgh Council, the University of Edinburgh and other local partners will enhance green spaces for the benefit of local people and the environment.

Edinburgh Thriving Greenspace logo

Edinburgh's Thriving Green Spaces

The Thriving Green Spaces project will shape an ambitious new vision for Edinburgh’s natural environment and produce a 30-year strategy and action plan to deliver that vision. The project aims to protect and enhance green spaces to benefit people today and in the future. The University is supporting the Thriving Green Spaces project by providing diverse expertise; including from the Edinburgh College of Art, the School of GeoSciences, EDINA, and the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability.

We all have increasingly relied on Edinburgh's parks, green spaces, rivers, lochs and shorelines for exercise and the benefits to wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic. We are facing global environmental issues such as climate change, species extinction and biodiversity loss, and air and water pollution; our green and blue spaces are central to addressing these issues.

Local wildlife

Have your say

Finding out how residents and visitors use our parks and green spaces and their aspirations for them is a key part of the Thriving Green Spaces project. Surveys to gather local people’s views have been developed with the help of a number of Master’s students from the Landscape and Wellbeing MSc programme at the University. This is being done through a series of surveys that anyone who lives or works in Edinburgh can complete. 

The project surveys include: 

The Covid-19 emergency has demonstrated in the most tangible way possible the vital importance of nature and green space for everyone’s health and wellbeing. We are delighted to support this ground-breaking project as it moves into its public dialogue phase. I’m particularly pleased to see that our students and staff are supporting the work and urge people to take the chance to give their views

Dave GormanDirector of Social Responsiility and Sustainability, University of Edinburgh

Cross-city collaboration

The project is made possible by an £899,500 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Trust, who have joined together to provide funding to local authorities to enable them to develop bold and innovative financial and management solutions for their green spaces against a backdrop of financial uncertainty. Edinburgh is one of eight local authorities in the UK to receive this funding and the only one in Scotland.

Alongside the Council, the project partners are the University of Edinburgh, Greenspace Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust and the Edinburgh Green Spaces Forum. The project began in June 2019 and will run until May 2021.

“I’m excited that we are ready to launch this stage of the project and open dialogue with the public, together with our partners, to explore what it means to be a thriving green city. The data gathered in these surveys will be key information which we will use to inform the new 30-year strategy for the Capital’s parks and greenspaces. It will determine how we change and adapt the ways in which we manage our outdoor spaces, to make sure that they continue to play an active role in delivering benefits in areas such as health and wellbeing, active travel, biodiversity, recreation and social cohesion. I would encourage everyone to learn more about the project through the website and share your views in our surveys.”

Amy McNeese MechanCity of Edinburgh Council Parks Leader

Find out more

For more information on the Thriving Green Spaces project, please contact thrivinggreenspaces@edinburgh.gov.uk  or visit their website.

Learn more about Biodiversity at The University of Edinburgh