By Kieron J. Doick, Kalliope Pediaditi, Andrew J. Moffat and Tony R. Hutchings.
More ‘joined-up thinking’ between policymakers and project managers is required to ensure that greenspaces established on brownfield sites are truly sustainable, according to a research paper published in the International Journal of Management & Decision Making. The authors are from the Forestry Commission’s Forest Research Agency and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute.
The paper shows that people’s definitions of sustainability vary according to professional title and academic discipline. Consequently, policy makers are promoting the creation of ‘sustainable’ greenspaces from brownfield land based upon an understanding that is very different from that of the managers who deliver and maintain the greenspaces.
During the research, the authors found differences in perceptions of sustainability, especially in perceptions of “what it means” and “how it should be delivered”. Together, these represent serious obstacles to achieving long-term site sustainability.
The paper highlights the need to clearly identify and assign sustainability objectives to land regeneration and greenspace establishment projects, and the importance of monitoring progress. Joined-up thinking is required for projects to be truly sustainable. The paper offers practical solutions so that all parties know what one another’s requirements and expectations are.
More information is available from the Forestry Commission.