This project set out to test the impact of greenspace improvements led by community groups on local environmental quality, littering/flytipping behaviour and on how people in these communities work together. 

We knew from our work with urban communities across Scotland that litter and fly-tipping really matter to people and have a daily impact on people’s quality of life. Too many communities are still blighted by wasted spaces and purposeless green deserts, which attract littering and fly-tipping

However, while common sense suggests that environmental improvement projects will have a positive effect on levels of littering, fly-tipping and other incivilities, there is little evidence to show the effect of community greenspace improvements.

In developing the project, we made contact with three communities who had identified litter and fly-tipping issues in specific local spaces and were actively looking for a way to address these issues. The three communities were: Central Dunfermline; Lambhill in North Glasgow and Forth in South Lanarkshire.

Key issues and aims

Across the three communities, we were seeking to address a number of key issues:

  • High levels of littering and fly-tipping in specific locations
  • presence of underused/vacant sites which are attracting anti-social behaviour including littering and fly-tipping
  • Community dissatisfaction with their local environment
  • Low levels of, or fragmented, community action relating to the local environment

The project had a number of interlinked aims:

  • to investigate the impact of community greenspace projects on local environmental quality particularly with respect to litter and fly-tipping
  • to enable increased community participation in improving local environments including increasing collaborative and partnership action
  • to develop case studies and supporting information/guidance to allow this approach to be more widely replicated.

The local Tackling litter by repurposing greenspaces projects had two strands – place improvement and litter monitoring/evaluation. The place improvements came from greenspace scotland’s Community placemaking approach and the litter monitoring was initiated using Zero Waste Scotland techniques.

The placemaking reports from the individual projects are available here:

Transforming Rex Park and the Lyne Burn greenspace report

Transforming Forth’s greenspaces report

View other Community placemaking publications