Green Spaces for People
CFP were commissioned by registered social landlords Places for People to evaluate the delivery of projects which aimed to improve the quality and design of green space in a social housing context across a 3 year period. CFP to were appointed to carry out a quality assessment of 23 green spaces across the country. The assessment focused on the impact of the £15.7 million BIG lottery funded Green Spaces for People programme in 75 neighbourhoods across England.
The evaluation comprised three key elements;
- Delivery of the capital and revenue programme and compliance with agreed timescale, project outputs and portfolio milestones;
- Measurement of the impact of the implementation on the green spaces and the communities that surround it, to assess whether the programme has delivered its five key outcomes;
- An assessment of how the portfolio has achieved organisational change within Places for People.
CFP designed an evaluation framework, which included:
- Observation studies to assess the level and type of use of the spaces and establish the broad demographic the profile of users (both before and after);
- Quality assessments of 23 sites (before and after the improvements) using the Green Flag Award criteria;
- Review of housing management data (voids, turnover, repairs etc);
- Customer satisfaction surveys;
- Face to face meetings with local communities, stakeholders and local agencies;
- Production of 15 case studies based on face to face meetings with a range of stakeholders and beneficiaries.
Outcomes and Results
The evaluation found that the capital investment had increased the average quality of the green spaces by over 70% against a scoring system based on the Green Flag Award. Places for People and their partners were able to demonstrate good practice in terms of community engagement and where a community development approach was adopted and fully resourced the outcomes were typically greater and more widely recognised by residents and a range of stakeholders.
Evidence showed that there are bottom line benefits to the organisation by investing in green spaces, improving the quality of the local environment and creating neighbourhoods of choice as the projects led to reduced voids, lower turnover rates and reduced repairs and maintenance costs. Allied to this, residents and other stakeholders stated that community cohesion had increased with typically better community relations and interaction with neighbours.
There was organisation learning in the approach to community engagement, project development and the on-going involvement of residents in managing and maintaining public spaces.
CFP and Places for People also contributed to national seminars on green space in social housing, sharing the success and learning from the project.
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