AIM: To develop and coordinate a national Neighbourhoods Green partnership project which champions good quality design, management and use of social housing green space; to establish local and regional housing/green space networks supported through Neighbourhoods Green to deliver practical green space initiatives; to build a robust evidence base from which to advocate the role of green space in place making.
BACKGROUND: Neighbourhood Greens began in London in 2003, conceived by the Peabody Trust and Notting Hill Housing Group, and supported by CABE Space (now Design Council Cabe), English Nature (now Natural England) and Groundwork London. Using funding from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (now Department for Communities and Local Government), the project explored the status and profile of green space with social landlords in London, prepared a toolkit and case studies to promote good practice, and published material offering support and guidance to social landlords on the green space agenda. This initiative is now being rolled out across the UK, with a mission to mainstream the role of green space assets into the operational and strategic context of social housing. The partners of the wider initiative include: Design Council Cabe, Green Flag Plus Partnership, Groundwork, The Landscape Institute, Natural England, The National Housing Federation, The Wildlife Trusts, and a steering group comprised of representatives from the social housing sector and various open space sector partners.
ACTIVITIES: The partnership is engaging in a range of activities, such as:
- Identifying new partners in the green space sector and engaging social landlords in the Neighbourhoods Green agenda;
- Ensuring the Neighbourhoods Green website provides an up-to-date knowledge and resources hub for sharing learning and good practice within the sector;
- Building a body of good practice case studies, resources and publications which evidence the importance of green space in the context of social housing;
- Using mapping tools to quantify the extent of green space that social landlords have influence over nationally;
- Promoting the Green Flag Award to raise green space management standards in the sector;
- Delivering a programme of events to share learning and best practice e.g. effective tree management, better connected green spaces, spaces by design, planning for parks etc.