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19.11.13

Open data could save parks – Policy Exchange

Financial constraints on local government are harming the availability and quality of urban green spaces – but better use of open data could help, a new report has suggested.

Park Land’, published by Policy Exchange, calls for the government to crowdsource data to develop a national green space map for the UK. This would allow the public to comment on the state of their local park, compare ratings with other parks, and access information on facilities, opening times and events.

Councils in the north east of England have cut their spending on parks and green spaces by almost 40% over the past three years, Policy Exchange stated. The think tank is calling for more to be done to ensure people living in cities have adequate access to green spaces.

The report reads: “The pressure on the UK’s urban green spaces is increasing. This is due to a combination of growing urban populations across the UK, a restricted supply of urban land for development due to green belt policy, and reduced public sector spending on green space.

“Policymakers need to find new ways to ensure our green spaces thrive. This means taking advantage of new technology, pushing for more data about our urban spaces to be released, and harnessing the appetite of civil society to improve urban spaces.”

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