Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by C. Spahrbier

Looking for a place to ‘Park’ in Bristol just got easier.

In a city of over 200 parks, the serenity of a green space is never far away. In Bristol, European Green Capital for 2015, these spaces have now been brought even closer to residents through the development of a new app by the Bristol ParkHive project in association with digital specialists Calvium.

The Bristol ParkHive GPS App provides an index of over 200 of Bristols parks and green spaces and provides ample additional information for users. Alongside listing the facilities available at each site the app also provides information regarding the wildlife of the sites, walking routes and the natural heritage features in the area.

The Bristol Park Hive App interface

The Bristol ParkHive App interface

The app will be promoted by destination Bristol and is being foreseen to not only help Bristol residentsidentify local parks, educate the public and encourage use of the facilities but also to help increase the number of visitors to the city.

The overarching concept has previously been employed in some major European cities including Paris and London. The Paris CityGardens app, which won the AppMyCity prize at the New Cities

Summit in 2012, mapped over 400 green spaces in Paris and according to its designers provided an opportunity to take advantage of misunderstood city heritage. Consequently the app was expanded to provide similar services to the French cities of Metz, Lille, Lyon, Montpellier, Strasbourg and the European Green Capital of 2013, Nantes.

In London, the ParkLifeLondon website serves a similar function, highlighting facilities, events and natural heritage features in many of London’s green spaces. In large cities such as those mentioned, green spaces are hugely important as access to open, non-developed green spaces can be restricted for large portions of city based communities.

Access to spaces such as these have been noted for the positive mental and physical effects they have on urban dwellers while the positive environmental effects of green spaces and green walls have long been touted. Apps like the Bristol ParkHive, Paris CityGardens and projects like that currently being undertaken in Toronto serve to give the public more access and a greater appreciation of these important urban features.

Bristol ParkHive is a collaborative project between the University of West England, the Bristol Parks Forum, Bristol’s network of volunteer parks groups and local partners. The project manifested itself due to the changes in local authority funding for Bristol’s parks and green spaces. The aim of the project is to help build the skills of the important parks volunteers groups. Innovative training has and is continuing to be delivered in management, activities and event organisation, social media and website development. This innovation extends to linking university students and curriculum’s with community volunteer groups and projects in a bid to increase visibility and awareness of the work of these groups and the importance of these areas to resident’s quality of life.

02 09 15 ParkHiveApp2

For more information on the Bristol ParkHive project and to download the app follow this link!