Urban places and green spaces
Public parks and gardens have been a vital part of human culture for an astonishingly long time, emerging soon after the dawn of the first city-states over four thousand years ago.
John Ruskin, the Victorian writer, art critic, social thinker and philanthropist wrote-
“The measure of any great civilisation is its cities, and a measure of a city’s greatness is to be found in the quality of its public spaces, its parks and squares”
We see the evidence of this when we visit great cities such as Barcelona, New York, Tokyo, London, Paris and Rome where such spaces are cherished. It is interesting to note his reference to measuring ‘civilisation’ and ‘greatness’ in this era of performance measurement. Yet even these great cities still have neglected and derelict spaces which indicate the difficulties of managing all their open space well.
Parks and open spaces are woven into the complex fabric and infrastructure of the urban landscape and are a colourful, vital, and inherent part our local culture and community life. Britain has a rich history and heritage of parks, gardens and green space, rooted in the local urban character, imparting a ‘sense of place’ and providing the stage for a wide range of activities that both reflect and define the local culture.
This website intends to celebrate and champion these places, to explain their many invaluable functions, to fight to halt their decline, and to understand why society generally fails to appreciate their importance.
“For the public park was never solely about trees, flowers or the sound of music on a summer’s afternoon. They were and remain statements of how we see ourselves as a society and the environment in which we choose to live”
Allan Ruff 'The Biography of Philips Park, Manchester'
Great Places and Spaces
Here are a number of links to important related sites in the green space sector:
The Parks Management Forum: https://parksmanagementforum.co.uk/
Professional Horticulture Magazine: http://www.professionalhorticulture.co.uk/
APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence): http://www.apse.org.uk
The Heritage Lottery Fund: https://www.hlf.org.uk/
The Parks Alliance: http://theparksalliance.org
Green Flag Awards: http://www.greenflagaward.org.uk
The Parks Agency: http://www.parksagency.co.uk
The Gardens Trust: http://www.thegardenstrust.org/
The National Federation of Parks & Green Spaces: http://www.natfedparks.org.uk/
The Chartered Institute of Horticulture: http://www.horticulture.org.uk/
Noel Kingsbury: http://www.noelkingsbury.com/
Noels Garden Blog: http://noels-garden.blogspot.co.uk/
Horticulture Week: http://www.hortweek.com/
Ken Warpole: http://www.worpole.net/
Parks and Gardens UK: http://www.parksandgardens.org/