Mapping research priorities for green and public urban space in the UK

Simon Bell, Alicia Montarzino, Penny Travlou

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    59 Citations (Scopus)


    Research mapping is a method of organising research information as part of a process of formulating a research policy in a specific area. A research mapping project was undertaken in the UK, which aimed to map existing and future research into public and green space, to identify gaps in order to help set priorities for future research, and to develop a freely accessible and searchable database of this research. The mapping was structured around two axes. The first axis was of research themes based on The Value of Public Space but developed further and broken down into sub-themes. The second axis was a typology of green and public space based around Planning and Policy Guidance Note 17 (PPG17) with elaboration from Green Spaces, Better Places. Research dating back to 10 years was collected together with information on recently completed, ongoing and planned UK research. Only research meeting specific quality criteria was included. Some information was also collected at a seminar where attendees from a range of organisations were invited to offer their perspectives on where research priorities should be directed. All the material was analysed and the main trends were identified. Three key cross-cutting themes common to much of the research were identified. These are the general lack of baseline surveys against which to assess progress over time; methodological issues, especially the need to standardise data collection methods and techniques; the classification of social groups, currently considered to be too crude. It was found that most research has been undertaken on physical aspects, such as planning and on biodiversity. Economic values have also been a focus, but on a smaller scale. Social research is quite well covered but very patchy. Management is better covered than maintenance. By far the weakest area represented in the research is health and well-being, both in terms of social groups and types of green space. Priorities for further research were then identified. © 2007 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-115
    Number of pages13
    JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2007


    • Green space typology
    • Research mapping


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