Social housing and green space: a case study in Inner London
Author: O'Brien, Elizabeth
Source: Forestry, Volume 79, Number 5, December 2006 , pp. 535-551(17)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:Urban woodlands and green spaces provide a range of benefits to people in densely populated areas: as places to use, view and enjoy. There is increasing interest in green spaces and their impacts on people's quality of life. The work described in this paper involved a partnership between Peabody Trust, a social housing association; the Forestry Commission and Trees for Cities, an environmental charity. The aim of the project was to involve residents in the use and enjoyment of their local woodland. The research gained an understanding of how the residents of two housing estates in South London view and experience their local woodland, called Peabody Hill Wood. Three focus groups and a questionnaire were undertaken with residents. Observations were also made at a community activity day and walk through the wood with local residents. From the analysis of the data, there was a complex mix of attitudes towards Peabody Hill Wood that related to not only the management of the wood but also the management of the buildings by Peabody Trust. This research highlights, as a number of other studies have, that woodlands near to where people live are valuable spaces and play a significant role by providing opportunity for contact with nature. Key implications of the research suggest that housing associations can have an important role to play in green space management. Partnership working with the environmental sector can help bring about much needed improvements to the environment. Working with communities and sustaining long-term commitment are also advocated.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 2006
- Forestry publishes refereed papers on all aspects of research, practice and policy that promote the sustainable development of forests, woodlands and trees. In considering suitability for publication attention is given to both the originality of contributions and their practical application. Preference is usually given to work undertaken in the temperate and/or boreal zones; only articles of exceptional merit from tropical zones will also be considered.