Parks are at the heart of local communities. They are much loved and one of the most heavily used public services. It's a fact that nine out of ten people regularly visit their parks and green spaces and in England, it has been calculated that there are 1.8 billion visits to parks each year.
But as with many other public services our public parks are increasingly under threat. We need to place parks at the heart of sustainable development. They encourage health and well-being, provide safe places for children to play, promote civic pride, support biodiversity and are increasingly seen as a key resource for helping urban areas adapt to the challenges of a changing climate.
Nesta, in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund, organised an innovation day to rethink public parks. This brought together park practitioners, civic innovators, local authorities, community entrepreneurs and those in associated sectors to discuss pressing areas for innovation.
Presentations from the day are shared here:
Peter Neal, Director, Peter Neal Consulting, presented on the theme ‘Innovate before it’s too late’.
James McCulloch, Chief Executive, Nene Park Trust, gave a case study presentation about Nene Park Trust in Peterborough
Sue France, Chief Executive, Sheffield Green Estate, gave a case study presentation about Green Estate in Sheffield
Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive, Nesta, (chair of the day) presented a model for thinking about innovation and some areas in which parks might innovate
Alice Casey, Project Lead, Nesta, talked about prototyping and its use in public service contexts