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‘Equitable, wilder, more comfortable, collective value…’

Responses to what a National Park City should be from the Central Scotland Green Network Forum

The 2019 Central Scotland Green Network Forum event (early in June) provided a good opportunity for Glasgow National Park City volunteers to share and listen to ideas and conversations that help reimagine Glasgow. Volunteer Toby Clark attended, these are his notes.

The theme for this year’s Forum was ‘making more of what we’ve got – repurposing unused and underused spaces’. The morning keynote speaker was Brian Evan, Professor of Urbanism and Landscape at Glasgow School of Art. This was followed by site visits and workshop sessions, and further speakers in the afternoon.

The concept of National Park Cities was referenced throughout the day, with Mathew Frith, Director of Conservation at London Wildlife Trust, reminding the audience that a London National Park City will be launched by Mayor of London’s Environment Team in July this year through a festival of events and opening ceremonies

An audience questions session provided an opportunity to directly ask the speakers what they would like a National Park City to be. Here are their responses:

- Mathew Frith spoke about a National Park City being ‘greener, more comfortable to live in, slower’, he added that National Park Cities have the potential to ‘add to the collective value’ of existing work, projects and initiatives’ and help ‘address branding issues’ to lessen confusion of the approaches of multiple organisations.

- Hamish Trench, Chief Executive of the Scottish Land Commission, spoke about the potential of National Park Cities ‘capturing people’s imagination’ and helping create a ‘greener, wilder city’.

- Sandra Albro, a research associate at Holden Forests & Gardens in Cleveland (U.S.) imagined that a National Park City could help highlight environmental inequalities in cities, creating ‘equity in climate change resilience’.

- Gemma Kitson, a recently graduated Landscape Architect and Year of Young People 2018 CSGNT Travel Grant recipient agreed with Sandra, sharing her vision that would ‘avoid flagship projects and ensure a more even distribution of resources’.

- Stefan Maurice, who works at Sustrans Scotland and who also received a Travel Grant added that a National Park City could help cities ‘prioritise projects that don’t compromise our environment’.

A video of the Q&A session that capture’s the National Park City question can be found here (1min 30sec):

Have your say… join the Glasgow National Park City conversation…

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