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It is estimated that, every year, well over half the UK population – some 33 million people – visit an urban greenspace more than once a week. And 91% of the UK population agree that the quality of such public spaces directly affects their quality of life.
Public urban parks and gardens are open to all, regardless of ethnic origin, age or gender. They are a place for recreation and leisure; they give a sense of identity to a place; and they represent a democratic forum for citizens and society.
While there are no definitive national or local standards for the number of parks and gardens provided, some local authorities promote a standard of 0.6 hectares per 1000 population, and that this should be available within a 15 minute walk.
Quality urban parks and gardens are an important component of every day life in towns and cities. So their design is worthy of careful consideration, and their maintenance is worthy of investment.
Under Planning Policy Guidance 17 (PDF-58K) urban parks and gardens have been illustrated to be of public value for recreation and visual amenity and should be maintained to a high standard for use by all.
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