In April 2010 greenspace scotland carried out a review of practice on open space audits and strategies across Scottish planning authorities. It identified that significant progress has been made across the 34 Scottish planning authorities.

Practice examples

South Lanarkshire Council - overall strategic vision led to an interim strategy which focuses on developing inter-departmental consensus on a set of core objectives and priorities

Highland Council - wider strategic vision developed as part of the supplementary planning guidance for open space in new residential developments. Supplementary guidance includes standards for the quantity, quality and accessibility of open space in new developments and an online open space requirements calculator.

Fife Council - greenspace within and around 112 settlements was mapped - greenspace types were divided into publicly useable and functional classes. The average amount of publicly useable greenspace per 1000 population was identified and walking distances applied to the data 

Glasgow City Council - developed a broader land use map using the national greenspace scotland mapping methodology

City of Edinburgh Council - used the Green Flag Award and its associated quality standards to assess the quality of all Council owned parks. The open audit methodology was based on the Quality Guide and incorporated key elements of Green Flag to ensure a compatible set of audit results across all the City’s open spaces

Stirling Council - first stage of quality assessment was consultation (via existing Community Forums, Local Development Plan consultation events and a web-based component) to develop a framework for the quality assessment. Audit and quality assessment has resulted in comprehensive 'settlement accounts' for each area

Dundee City Council - Open Space Strategy has been embedded within the remit of Dundee Partnership for the Environment (part of the Dundee Partnership). They have established themselves as a Strategic Greenspace Partnership

City of Edinburgh Council - Open Space Strategy will inform planning decisions on the provision of open space and inform the LDP main issues report. It links to a wide range of key stratgies and the Single Outcome Agreement 

Falkirk Council - Open Space Strategy sets out both quantitative standards, in relation to open space per head of population, and qualitative standards, in terms of functionality and fitness for purpose, linked to accessibility via distance thresholds


audit and strategy facts

  • 85% of Scottish authorities had completed their quantitative audit of open space
  • 59% of Scottish authorities had completed their qualitative assessment of open space
  • 26% of Scottish authorities had completed their open space strategy, with a further 50% in the process of open space strategy development

Table 1: Stage of audit and strategy development (April 2010)

Download the full report here