The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU's Liza Griffin and Bartlett’s Gemma Moore awarded Knowledge Exchange Grant for healthy parks

13 March 2023

Congratulations to DPU's Liza Griffin who, along with joint collaborator Gemma Moore, has been awarded a UCL Knowledge Exchange Network Grant to develop a network called "Partnerships for Healthy Parks".

healthy parks illustrated graphic.

Their project will bring together green space infrastructure organisations, health and care institutions, and academic researchers from across North London to explore opportunities for cross-sector working and learning on health inequalities linked to green spaces.

There are numerous physical and mental health benefits from having quality green spaces in urban areas. Fifteen years ago, the UK's Department for Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs estimated that if everyone had access to sufficient greenspace the benefits associated with increased physical activity alone, could save the health system a staggering £2.1bn per year. Today, parks and open spaces play a more important role than ever before in supporting the mental health of communities in post-COVID recovery towns and cities.

Partnerships for Healthy Parks will involve a series of workshops designed to explore opportunities to develop and disseminate their Healthy Parks Framework and facilitate place-based interventions. These include green social prescribing, designs for therapeutic spaces, schemes to enhance community engagement in park planning and building business cases for investment in related urban health initiatives.

The Healthy Parks Framework is an evidence-based visual policy tool designed to help park managers and communities plan, manage, and assess their greenspaces to improve the health of residents and tackle health inequalities.

The Framework is a ‘living policy tool’ that will become honed and established through its use in practice and via feedback from users in a wide range of contexts. The Framework can be tailored to different places and for different purposes in order to manage a variety of types of green space and to engage people about the important relationship between health and parks in the context of health and environmental crises in Britain today.

The team now plan to engage users beyond North London with their ‘innovative Healthy Parks Framework with the potential to change how parks are managed’ (Head of Greenspace, Camden).

You can watch a short animation about the Framework using this link.