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Findings Series 17 - 'It's More Than Just the Park'

Date: July 2008
Category: Briefing Paper
Author: GCPH

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This briefing paper outlines the findings from a study which explored the quality and accessibility of greenspaces and community resources across two socially contrasting areas of Glasgow.

The purpose of the study was to explore the facilitators and barriers to the active use of local facilities, including greenspace, leisure facilities and community halls, in order to add to the current body of knowledge and to provide information for local planning purposes. 

The study utilised a variety of methods and key findings of this paper are:

  • The more affluent North West locality was relatively socially advantaged in terms of the built environment, local amenities and population characteristics compared to the South West locality.
  • There was considerable variation in the quality of facilities in both areas.  There was often a difference in quality when comparing the inside and outside of leisure facilities and community halls.
  • Overall, respondents in the more affluent area reported better health and more frequent physical activity than those in the more deprived area. 
  • Access is about much more than the physical qualities of the facilities. 
  • An individual’s lifestyle, their stage in the life-course and associated preferences and values influences usage of resources. 
  • A sense of individual safety has become a major barrier to usage of facilities. 


This paper also summaries recommendations for action.