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Urban greenspace

Most of Scotland’s population lives in cities and towns. Urban greenspace lets people connect with nature in their own neighbourhood.

Greenspace gives most people in Scotland the chance to enjoy the outdoors without having to travel far from home.

Greenspace includes:

  • public and private gardens
  • parks and grounds
  • amenity land
  • sports and play areas
  • green corridors
  • natural and semi-natural areas
  • allotments and community growing spaces
  • burial grounds
  • other functional green areas

These provide a wide range of habitats and ecosystems within the urban environment that are valuable to a variety of wildlife.

Read about the many other benefits that urban greenspace can bring communities:

Urban Green Infrastructure Benefits Factsheet

Attitudes to greenspace

Our report, Attitudes to greenspace in Scotland, shows that people who regularly visit local greenspace are more likely to feel healthy. But it also reveals a significant gap between what we expect of our urban greenspaces and what’s actually provided in local communities.

The report underlines the need to maintain complete and up-to-date data on greenspace in each local authority area. This can then be used to prioritise how to improve greenspaces so that they may fulfil their potential as valued, multi-functional community assets.

Greenspace near you

To find out about the types and location of greenspace where you live, view the Greenspace Interactive Map.

Open space in your area

To find out more about greenspace near you, you could ask your local authority about the open space audit and strategy for your area.

Open space, which includes greenspace, is important for our quality of life. Scottish Planning Policy recognises this and requires each planning authority to carry out an open space audit and have an open space strategy.

An open space audit identifies, maps and assesses the quality of the open space resource in the local authority area and how it’s used. It should also look at how communities wish to use their local open spaces in future.

The strategy is a vision of how the open space resource can be protected and enhanced within the planning system. The aim is to develop a network of quality open space that’s easily accessible and which meets the needs of local communities.

Planning authorities can read our guidance on how to deliver an open space audit and strategy.