Placemaking is a collaborative and creative process that includes design, development, renewal or regeneration of our urban areas. Viv Gray, one of our planning advisors, looks at the positive steps Fife Council is making towards improving green spaces for both people and wildlife.
National policy sets a requirement to consider and plan for green networks as part of the Local Development Plan but financial constraints can make this work difficult to progress, particularly for local authorities with many settlements to plan for. Fife Council and SNH met this challenge by capturing multi-disciplinary expertise in flooding, greenspace, biodiversity, active travel and landscape design present in both organisations.
Across a series of 10 workshops we worked in partnership to identify key natural assets of the place and to set a positive vision for the delivery of better places for people and nature. Together we identified and mapped green networks in towns and villages across Fife, working on the basis that natural spaces, parks, paths, watercourses and other habitats all contribute to the quality of our urban environment.
Outputs from the process were integrated into the Local Development Plan, setting a clear and positive planning agenda for the natural environment. By working with each other, across disciplines, there is better integration of disparate strategies and guidance than there was in the past.
The buy-in across services in Fife Council has been important as many projects across Fife are now helping to improve the green network and provide connections for both people and wildlife. One example are the proposals being developed for the Lyne Burn Green Network in Dunfermline – a multi-purpose park with improved habitat, new cycling and walking facilities and better resilience to flooding.
By working collaboratively to deliver the widest possible benefits, these projects are benefiting nature and improving the environments close to where people live and work.