I recently read a headline saying that Scotland had made the “World’s First Urban Green Space Map.” Now, while that sounds pretty cool, I’m not sure if I caught what’s first about it. As you may or may not know, my master’s degree was in city planning — making urban green space maps is nothing new in the field. Even making online, interactive versions of the maps like this one is not at all unheard of. My only thought is that it might be the first national-scale map of its kind….
Yep, tracking down the original press release, that’s the case: “no other country has mapped its greenspace in this way.” Just a slightly misleading or inaccurate title on the blog post (and believe me, I’m sure I’ve created my fair share of such titles).
Nonetheless, getting back to the core of the story, it is pretty awesome that Scotland (or “Greenspace Scotland”) has created a green space map for the whole country. While it’s not the largest country in the world, it shows what others could be doing (should be doing) and I’m sure it will also be of great use to the country.
As I’ve written before, neighborhoods with more trees have healthier babies. Also, urban green space is important for improving air quality.
Scotland’s Urban Green Space Map
“It 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 (i.e. towns and cities with a population of 3,000 or more),” Greenspace Scotland writes.
“The tool may also help councils develop planning and environmental policy. Those who produced the map said it would provide a baseline for future updates, allowing them to track changes in the amount and type of green space in Scotland’s towns and cities,” BBC reported.
Scotland a Clear Green Leader
Of course, Scotland is a green leader in many respects, and this just continues to increase my respect for the country. Scotland is also home to one of the world’s first ecovillages, Ecovillage Findhorn. It is a leader in clean energy, aiming to get an astounding 100% of its electricity from clean energy by 2025. It is home to Europe’s biggest wind farm. And it is a clear leader in tidal energy.
Hopefully it won’t be long before the whole world has the green spirit of Scotland.