greenspace mapping and characterisation

Mapping the greenspace resource is a fundamental part of an open strategy audit and underpins the development of an open space or greenspace strategy.

greenspace scotland has been working with local authorities to map and characterise greenspace across urban Scotland.  All of the urban areas of Scotland have now been mapped and in 2011 the data was combined to produce a single national dataset and Scotland’s Greenspace Map. LINK

A suite of guidance documents have been prepared to assist local authorities and other partners to map and characterise greenspace and then to maintain and use the data. 

why map greenspace?

Research has shown that greenspace delivers a wide-range of quality of life and quality of place benefits relating to health and wellbeing, economic development, biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation. To deliver these benefits and to safeguard the management and development of the existing greenspace resource, local authorities and others need accurate information on the extent, distribution and type of greenspace in their area. Greenspace mapping provides this information which also enables cross-boundary work on strategic development plans, green networks and regeneration projects; the development of decision-support tools for opportunities mapping and prioritising investment; and when combined with other data can support national research on, for example, greenspace, health and deprivation.

Scottish Planning Policy requires local authorities to undertake an audit of their own open space and to produce an open space strategy. An open space strategy should comprise of these main elements: an audit of existing open space provision; an assessment of current and future requirements; and a strategy statement with a clear set of priorities and actions. There are two key elements of an open space audit, a quantitative audit of the amount and type of open space and an assessment of the quality and community value of open space. Greenspace mapping and characterisation provides the information required for the quantitative element of an open space audit.


more information

Scotland's greenspace map

Scotland’s Greenspace Map is an innovative Geographical Information System (GIS) based map which provides comprehensive information on the location, extent and type of greenspace across all of Scotland’s urban settlements. Find out more about Scotland's greenspace map here