Manchester garden scheme to map city’s green spaces
Fill in online survey to be in with a chance of winning £500 shopping vouchers and help the University’s research
A green scheme to map the make-up of Mancunians’ gardens promises to improve knowledge about the city’s air quality, flood risk and urban heat island.
Researchers are mapping what gardens across Manchester are made of – grass, trees, hard surfaces – through a crowd-sourcing initiative that turns residents into citizen scientists.
The data collected from the My Back Yard survey will provide insight into the gardens across the city alongside information collected via high-resolution satellite images.
The findings will identify the areas where there is less green space in gardens, to inform planning and investment decisions on green space within these neighbourhoods to boost wellbeing to enhance the benefits that green spaces can provide to areas of specific need, particularly where there is less green space within domestic gardens.
The project invites residents to complete an online survey on their garden. The anonymised data is then available to view, broken down by electoral wards to illustrate the difference in greenery across Manchester’s gardens.
Geographer Dr Gina Cavan, lead researcher, from Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Green spaces are proven to provide a host of benefits to residents, either from their garden or nearby parks. It also supports our environment: helping to cool the city, improve air and water quality, reduce flooding, support wildlife and provide a setting for recreation. Gardens are so important in the city because they make up around 20% of the total land.
“We are already seeing wide variations from across the city in the amount of greenery available in gardens. So, the data collected from this survey will help us to identify which neighbourhoods are in need of the most of extra trees or new parks, for example.
“It only takes 10 minutes to complete – the more residents get involved, the more we will know.”
The survey is already providing an insight into the city’s gardens. Current findings show how many gardens in each ward are green spaces, hard surfaces, the number of different plants, common uses of gardens and popular garden schemes. See here for the current overview: http://mybackyard.org.uk/results.php
The project is being led by Manchester Metropolitan University with the University of Leicester, in collaboration with The Mersey Forest, Manchester City Council, City of Trees, Southway Housing Trust and Lancashire Wildlife Trust. It is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council,
To complete the survey and be entered into a prize draw to win £500 shopping vouchers, log on to mybackyard.org.uk. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The survey is open until the end of December 2016.