• What are the worst things that can happen to Birmingham's Parks and Green Spaces

    Birmingham Parks Summit
    One of the first thing the group of park lovers and users were asked was what are the worst things that could happen in the future.  They discussed this not just in terms of greenspaces likes parks and allotments, but the blues paces of canals and rivers and resevoirs and the greyspaces – publis paved areas.
    Here are some notes of the thoughts: (as always we capture as much as we can – but some things will be missing)
    Table one
    Grey space:  they need to be maintained, there’s a lot of derelict areas, when people approach the city the theis is what tehey see. So it’s not great to promote the city. And this raises crime. Oftern work is done on the surface
    Blue Space: there’s a loot of work being done of the canal links, and so the work thing that can happen is there not being maintained now the moey has bee spent.
    Green Space: Money being spent on the green space -they are not being maintained, the marketing of our green spaces used to be quite well done and the last 12 months this has dropped, this needs to be addressed, if people don’t know what is going on they can’t join in.
    Table two – we reflect a lot of table one said….
    Green areas in the city are not being maintained – at the cost of “nicer” areas, and they will disappear completely if they are not used, The lack of the use of the space means it’s could be end up being developed and less used blue spaces are often neglected in favour of more used spaces, but this will never promote use.
    Table 3.
    Blue space the worry along the canals is the maintenance, – but around the centre of the city it’s quite good and has improved use of the canal. However flooding can be an issue – and this is sometimes due to paving over gardens for driveways
    Greenspace – there is a worry about spaces that aren’t used very much esp at night – it is better if places are well used,. There is a fear we will lose some of our parks, where they are not protected in trust.
    Grey space: Litter and dumping is an issue, and sometimes people don’t like the architecture around open grey spaces, ie around St Martin’s the surroundings are in contrast with the church.
    Table 4:
    Grey spaces:  Poor air quality, poor access for pedestrians.  frightening to drive, but there are exceptions, like the Bristol road where there are lots of trees. A bit of green really transforms grey.  The trees being removed is an issue – causing flooding and raising temperatures.
    Green spaces: we have a number of parks with amazing facilities, until we move in to deprived areas, and then the parks are deprived too. Signs that say no ball games – how can people living in urban spaces use their spaces.
    We need engagement between groups that use the parks
    Blue spaces: maintenance around areas that are built up is needed.
    Table 5:
    We poss don’t have much to add to what has already been said,
    The general point is the importance of maintenance, both physically maintained, and people watching over it. Educating people it is our space, we can use it, but we need to look after it.
    Lack of funding for maintainence – we have no street cleaners for instance.
    Threats to green space comes from development too.
    Can we use tools and apps like Pokemon Go to get the next generation to use our parks!

    Posted on 2nd November 2016