The Bartlett School of Planning


Managing Public Urban Green Space: An International Comparative Study

Managing Public Urban Green Space: An International Comparative Study was Funded by the Campaign for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) Space in 2003-2004


This project examined the management of green public space in 11 cities around the world. Project partners were selected in each of the cities and worked with the Bartlett team to develop a broad range of international lessons of direct relevance to practice in England and elsewhere. The project is published in the report 'Is the Grass Greener?'.

The following quote is taken from the introduction by the Chair of CABE, Sir Stuart Lipton, to the short version of the research report, written by Helen Woolley and Sian Rose (Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield) and Matthew Carmona and Jonathan Freedman (Bartlett School of Planning, University College London).

'It is estimated that each year well over half the UK population - some 33 million people - make more than 2.5 billion visits to urban green spaces alone. Not surprisingly, people become attached to these parks, gardens and other open places, and appreciate them for what they offer culturally, socially and personally. In research carried out for CABE, 85 per cent of people surveyed felt that the quality of public space and the built environment has a direct impact on their lives and on the way they feel. But having access to public space is not all that matters: just as important are the planning, design and management of that space.' This work was the basis for CABE's campaign for better public space. 


Professor Matthew Carmona
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Dr Claudio de Magalhães
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Ruth Blum 


This project led to the following publications:

Matthew Carmona and Claudio de Magalhães, Is the Grass Greener...? Learning from International Innovations in Urban Green Space Management, London, CABE Space, 2004

Matthew Carmona, Claudio de Magalhães and Leo Hammond, Public Space: The Management Dimension, London, Routledge, 2008 


This work informed policy and enabling practice in CABE Space, the arm of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment responsible at the time for improving the design and management of green and urban space in England.

Cities Management