Changes in government in 2010 placed additional economic pressures on the funding of urban greenspaces. These changes have led Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) to make difficult choices over what services they are legally required to provide. Potentially the biggest loser in this process has been the funding for greenspaces. Although many cities have felt the impacts of fiscal austerity, Liverpool has been one of the city’s hardest hit. As a consequence, Liverpool City Council (LCC) is being forced to make decisions over how it will maintain the city’s landscape post 2016/17. Partially this reflects the fragmented nature and historical distribution of greenspaces in Liverpool but also its development context. Moreover, disparity in the distribution of the quality/quantity of green space is evident with a clear northsouth divide (Sykes et al., 2013). The growing rhetoric presented by LCC relating to funding discretionary service, including landscape planning, has been presented as further evidence of its lack of foresight in how it manages its environment.
To address this a series of greenways2, labelled as ‘green corridors’ throughout the paper, are proposed as a financially viable and spatially diverse mechanism to improve the spatial distribution of green infrastructure (GI) across the city. Using a city-wide analysis of existing green spaces, the proposed green corridors aim to link Liverpool’s Victorian parks (hubs) with linear green spaces (links) to form a city-scale network. However, despite local support for the protection of green spaces, as observed in the Liverpool City Council Green & Open Space Review (LG&OSR), there is a reticence in some political circles to support such a programme of investment. Moreover, by assessing existing barriers to funding investment in Liverpool’s green corridors it is possible to identify broader institutional problems with the financing, management and long-term development of green space. However, within
LCC there appears to be a lack of clarity of the socio-economic and ecological value of the city’s green spaces, which is limiting discussions of how best to protect it. Green corridors are therefore proposed as a form of investment that can facilitate spatial equity of green spaces to communities in Liverpool. How LCC, and the city as a whole, approach the use of green corridors as a part of its GI network remains open to interpretation. The identification of possible locations for new corridors is the first stage in generating political/public support for investment.
Mell, Ian C.
"Is Liverpool (UK) Ready to Embrace Green InfIrastructure and Greenway Practices? Rethinking the Funding, Management and Spatial Distribution of City’s Greenspace Network in an Era of Austerity.,"
Proceedings of the Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning: Vol. 5:
2, Article 29.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/fabos/vol5/iss2/29
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