Given the current economic climate, stalled development spaces are a feature of our towns and cities and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. If left to fall into dereliction, these spaces will have a detrimental effect on local neighbourhoods in terms of individual and community health and wellbeing and local economic activity as well as causing environmental problems.

The development of temporary greenspace uses for stalled spaces offers a variety of opportunities to deliver social, environmental and economic benefits. Temporary greenspaces can:

  • act as a focus for community action
  • produce an improvement in the appearance and reputation of an area (with impacts on community pride and economic development)
  • contribute to the green infrastructure of an area
  • provide safe and pleasant places for local people

There is a desire locally, nationally and internationally to begin to realise these benefits. Work has already begun (both in terms of policy and action) in some areas.

There are, however, some significant (real and perceived) obstacles to developing temporary uses for stalled spaces. These often relate to fears that spaces which become temporary greenspaces will be difficult to return to development or concerns that financial or legal liabilities will fall on site owners. There are also concerns that the inappropriate development of greenspaces (the wrong type of space) will attract further problems to an area.

This scoping report outlines a range of approaches and projects from Scotland, the UK and elsewhere in the world and It suggests priority actions which are required if stalled spaces are to become a positive contributor to quality of life in Scotland’s towns and cities.

The priorities for action can be viewed here

This research was supported by Scottish Natural Heritage