Data for Green Spaces

We’re working on innovative approaches to capturing, sharing and using data in Plymouth’s green spaces as part of two major projects

In cities, green spaces are vital but often poorly understood: used differently by different types of people at different times, they provide benefits that often aren’t noticed until they are gone.

Similarly, we don’t always have good data about how people use the spaces or what they find most valuable, and this means there are fewer opportunities to improve them – especially at a time when money is in short supply.

Plymouth is blessed with a great variety of green spaces, from the very formal and high profile places such as The Hoe to the secluded, semi-wild, Derriford Park and Poole Farm.

A range of partners including the City Council, National Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust, Plymouth Public Health, Plymouth University, Plymouth College of Art and RIO are involved in two multi-year projects that aim to change both the way these spaces are managed, but also the way they are seen by the public. We are supporting both of these projects with our data and design expertise.

The Future Parks Accelerator is a national programme that aims to change the way that green spaces are managed, and our role supporting the Plymouth project has been to help prototype some solutions for low-cost footfall counting and provide tools to help groups map the trees in the city, as well as to help the various partners release better open data on these topics.

The Green Minds project, by contrast, is an ERDF-funded initiative that has the goal of raising awareness of the green spaces in the city and thereby encouraging citizens to look after those spaces better. We are supporting this with an integrated set of data infrastructure including a data platform, data modelling, a structured series of open data releases, data sharing protocols, and lobbying for policy changes to ensure all this remains sustainable long after the project finishes.

You can preview and download some of the data we’ve helped release on the Data Place Plymouth open data platform. We expect to roll out a lot more data and tools over the remaining lifespan of the two projects.