Lincoln City Council have been speaking about their pride in the city’s green areas following a new app which gives a street-by-street guide to vegetation.
The new app which is currently focused on Cardiff and Newport will eventually be rolled out to the rest of the UK, but the city council is confident that residents are well catered for.
Caroline Bird is the Community Service Manager at the City of Lincoln Council and she said: “We’re really proud of the green spaces we have in Lincoln. When you look at the geographical size and the number of residents in the city we’re actually very well catered for.”
Hartsolme Country Park and the Arboretum have both won the international Green Flag Award, celebrating the world’s best green spaces. Hartsolme has received this title for ten years in a row and the Arboretum has also won it in the past two years.
Different factors that go into getting a green flag award include how welcoming the park is to the quality of facilities and public engagement there.
Parks and green spaces are vital for urban areas as not only is it a health and aesthetic significance but also provides wildlife habitats and educational spaces.
Mrs Bird said: “I think that we probably don’t even yet understand the full health benefits of getting out into the fresh air, whether that’s for actual physical activity and exercise or just to enjoy nature and the fresh air.”
With current environmental conflicts and urban expansion, inner-city greenery is key.
“So I think they’re [green spaces] vital and in particular perhaps in a city where there are lots of properties that may not have their own space.”
The experimental app launched by The Data Science Campus for the Office for National Statistics will assesses how green your street is, once the app expands to other major cities in 2019.
The page allows residents to type in their postcode and view on an interactive map the different levels of vegetation on their street, depicted through bars.
The bars, when clicked on, will also give a specific percentage for the level of greenery on your street and where it stands on a list of the greenest streets in the area.
This research uses Google Street view to group the number of trees and hedges along a road.
This aims to improve our knowledge of the environment and its values as studies show that our trees remove 1.4 million tonnes of air pollutants every year.
A Data Scientist from the Office for National Statistics who worked on the project says: “We plan to publish a complete open dataset for 112 major towns and cities in the UK… we plan to include Lincoln when we extend this approach in 2019.”
So next year we should be able to find out once and for all how green Lincoln is compared to other cities around the country.