Investigating informal greenspaces and their benefits for residents

A new publication by CAUL Hub researchers has used systematic observations and interviews with local residents to examine how residents engage with and benefit from the presence of informal greenspaces in their neighbourhood.

While many studies have shown the numerous benefits of greenspaces, these studies have mainly focused on formal spaces such as parks. Informal greenspaces are particularly common in cities, including areas such as vacant lots, brownfields, and railway or waterway verges. This paper drew on an empirical study of Upper Stony Creek – a concreted drainage channel in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine North. An informal greenspace of around 40,000 square metres is located towards the east of the Creek.

The findings showed that dog walking was the main activity conducted in the informal greenspace, and the lack of regular maintenance, perceptions of unsafety and littering were among the most critical concerns regarding its use. The paper also included recommendations for ways informal greenspaces can be managed and improved to add value to urban environments and fully capitalise on their potential as integral parts of liveable neighbourhoods.

You can read more about the Upper Stony Creek Transformation project in this brochure.

Featured image: Upper Stony Creek Transformation. Credit: Leila Farahani

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