Priorities named for public spaces

Management and maintenance are the most important issues facing public spaces. according to CABE Space findings

, according to Parks and Squares: Who Cares?, launched by CABE Space at the Sustainable Communities summit in Manchester last week. It analyses the views of 1,500 signatories to the campaigning group’s Manifesto for Better Public Spaces, launched last year. CABE Space director Julia Thrift said: “People think it’s important that there should be staff looking after public spaces.” Respondents also said spaces should be community resources shared by all age groups and that there should be space for nature. Thrift warned that high-quality public spaces do not have sufficient priority in housing growth areas: “The Government is setting a lot of priorities for new housing. But there’s a concern that the quality of the green spaces will be left behind as the focus is on housing. It’s difficult to establish targets for green space but it must be done.” She added: “It’s important that people in the sector try to influence politicians and regeneration work. Issues that affect the quality of spaces, such as litter and dog fouling, are now seen as important by government ministers. This is a key time to get things right.” Two international leaders threw their weight behind the UK’s drive for sustainable communities at the summit. Chicago mayor Richard Daley and European commissioner for regional policy Danuta Hubner praised the UK for playing a pioneering role in regeneration.

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