Reproduced from Ordnance Survey digital map data  © Crown copyright, All rights reserved. 2010 Licence number 0100031673

Reproduced from Ordnance Survey digital map data © Crown copyright, All rights reserved. 2010 Licence number 0100031673

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Temporary greenspace on vacant and derelict land, Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT)

OPEN completed a study exploring the potential for vacant, derelict, and ‘stalled’ land to be used in the short or medium term for temporary greenspace and other open space land uses. The pilot study, commissioned by the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT) aims to identify actions which achieve environmental and social benefits, and proposes temporary landscapes that are fundable and maintainable on a temporary yet self sustaining basis.

Funding for this study was granted by the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Development Fund, with the main objective of identifying and developing a number of key sites (‘target sites’) within the City of Edinburgh. This study’s key aims reflect the criteria of the CSGN, and will become a tool for delivering its objectives on the ground.

In order to identify all possible existing vacant, derelict and stalled sites, baseline and interpretive mapping was prepared by OPEN. The OPEN team analysed each potential site in Edinburgh against a series of defined criteria. This was undertaken for every site identified so sites not taken forward as part of the pilot study could be readily re-visited in future temporary green space proposals.

Schematic plans for temporary greenspace were prepared for each of the 6 selected target sites, taking into consideration funding options, community engagement, land condition, ownership, and any future development plans. The study draws on similar projects from elsewhere in the UK and will explore precedent from wider afield. Proposals seek to increase the number and quality of biodiverse sites within the City, provide new spaces for recreation and education, explore alternatives for energy generation, promote sustainable travel, provide opportunity for community growing, and facilitate the raising of general awareness of the CSGN project.

The goal is to develop a strategic model for the effective implementation of temporary landscape use of sites, which can be rolled out to other sites and situations as they are identified and arise around the city.

The project won the Strategic Landscape Planning category at the Landscape Institute Awards 2012 in recognition of the innovative approach developed in addressing the issues of vacant and derelict land.