The seventh annual forum of the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) welcomed experts from Italy, Belfast and Copenhagen to its event in Edinburgh on Thursday (15 June)
One of the speakers was Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, who said the fund would be available again in the 2018/2019 financial year. The fund supported 18 projects to the tune of £438,434 in its most recent round.
Cunningham said: "Since 2010 the CSGN Development Fund has helped transform the central belt into a greener place through some £6.3 million of support to projects that are encouraging active travel, habitat restoration, woodland planting and community growing.
"I am delighted to confirm we will be able to give more communities the opportunity to deliver change in their areas and will shortly reopen the fund for 2018 entries."
The conference showcased exemplar green active travel routes, including Little France Park in Edinburgh and the Copenhagen Green Cycle Routes or Grønne Cykelruter.
Little France Park, in the burgeoning BioQuarter, includes high-quality cycling and walking paths which demonstrate how active travel and green infrastructure can be integrated from the outset, as part of a master-planned developmental project.
City bosses at Copenhagen have the ambition to make it the world’s best cycling city. More than 50% of the city’s residents cycle to work or education following a programme of retrofitting integrated active green travel routes across the city, creating 24 individual cycle routes which connect green parks, lakes, the harbour, and university. The Grønne Cykelruteoutes use open spaces such as disused railways and playing fields, comprising more than 58km in all.
Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) Keith Geddes said: "Greenspace, green infrastructure and active travel are vitally important for the future of Central Scotland and bring multiple benefits across health, transport, the economy and the wider environment.
"It is important that we learn from these iinspiring city projects which demonstrate the value of creating more liveable places which are better for health, well-being and urban biodiversity and which contribute to local culture and identity and help with climate change resilience."
The Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) is one of 14 national developments for Scotland created in the Scottish Government’s third National Planning Framework. The initiative is designated a national priority.