Parks, play areas and other recreational spaces will be photographed from above and then fed into a detailed database in a bid to prevent building on top of what little green space is left in Edinburgh, capital city of Scotland. Hundreds of acres of green space have been lost from urban areas across Scotland, but most councils have never audited how much has vanished and no figures are held centrally. The new data, including public and private gardens, which are not available on ordinary maps, will form part of Edinburgh’s new city plan. Council chiefs recently decided no more developers would eat up green space unless alternative provision can be made. The audit will be carried out in conjunction with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), and comes after intense lobbying from the Green Party.
Accounting for nearly two-fifths of the Capital, Edinburgh has the greatest proportion of green space of any Scottish city. Much of it is semi-natural in character, with woodland, moorland and wetland, as well as path and river corridors. The new GIS audit, which is jointly funded by the council and SNH, will be able to put an actual figure on the number of acres and allow the local authority to draw up a strategy for the land’s future. It will examine the popularity of each area and the facilities within them, as well as the needs and aspirations of local communities.