Ethnic Minority Inclusion and Participation in Urban Greenspace: Good Practices of UK Friends Groups
This dissertation by Nyma Haqqani of UCL, in collaboration with Dave and Paul for the National Federations for Parks and Green Spaces (NFPGS) is now available to read online.
Read the full dissertation, here!
“People from ethnic minority backgrounds are severely underrepresented in urban greenspace according to UK national statistics. EM groups visit greenspace 60% less than the rest of the adult English population (Evison et al., 2013), in spite of legislation and policies aimed at improving equality of access to urban greenspace. This puts them at greater physical and mental health risks and also results in social exclusion and decreased social cohesion (Evison et al., 2013). How do we encourage ethnic minority participation in greenspace?
How do we achieve positive results where governmental programmes have been largely ineffective? Perhaps the answer lies in community-led social change. Community organisations often have better access than local authorities to the minorities of their communities and can reach them in more effective ways. Marginalised groups are often mistrusting of official authority (Avery, 2006) and may be more receptive to outreach from people from their own wider community.
Participating together in urban greenspace has been proven to bring communities together and increase social cohesion (Veen, 2015). After the 2008 financial crisis, the austerity policies the UK government embarked on resulted in budget cuts for urban greenspace that necessitated the rise of community organisations dedicated to place-keeping their local greenspaces. These small-scale, bottomup participatory endeavors enable community empowerment (Sara et al., 2020).”
Posted on 11th November 2022