what is greenspace?

Greenspaces are the 'green lungs' of our towns and cities which contribute to improving people's physical and mental health by providing places for informal recreation - walking, cycling, sitting, socialising and children's play - and 'breathing spaces' to take time out from the stresses of modern life. They bring the countryside into our towns and cities, and make it accessible from our 'backdoors'. Greenspaces also create safe and attractive places where people want to live and businesses invest.

Greenspaces are multi-functional; they are used in many different ways. They include not only areas to which the public have physical access, but also visual access, for example, in the way greenspaces provide settings for buildings, communities and everyday activities

The quantity, quality, character, distribution and accessibility of greenspaces vary across Scotland, reflecting local circumstances. 

image of girl reading in urban greenspace   image of three adults walking in a forest   children in greenspace   cycling in greenspace




greenspace facts

Greenspace is any vegetated land or water within an urban area; this includes:

  • parks, gardens, playing fields, children’s play areas, woods and other natural areas, grassed areas, cemeteries and allotments
  • green corridors like paths, disused railway lines, rivers and canals
  • derelict, vacant and contaminated land which has the potential to be transformed

Planning Advice Note 65 Planning and Open Space sets out a typology of 11 different types of green and open space.

Greenspace can also be defined functionally by how people use them - see greenspace themes