A team led by Dr Anna Barker at the University of Bradford has been awarded a research grant by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
The team, including Professor Adam Crawford and Dr David Churchill, both of the University of Leeds, will explore the future prospects and lived experiences of city parks as public meeting places, in both the Victorian period and the present day. The project is being supported by and conducted in collaboration with Leeds City Council Parks and Countryside Department.
The project aims to have a number of societal impacts, including advancing public understandings of the historical experiences and social role that city parks play (or might play) in communities of the past, the present and the future. It will engage public audiences through a public exhibition and a free-to-access digital collection of photographs of Victorian parks in Leeds.
Barker, a sociology lecturer, said: "We are delighted that this funding will enable us to conduct this exciting research in collaboration with Leeds City Council.
"We hope the study will inform and influence public policies and practices at a local, regional and national level on the significance, role and place of urban parks in cities of the future, supporting safe, sustainable and inclusive societies".