What do we love about our parks? Frisbees? Dogs catching frisbees? The smell of bbq, children at play, picnics during sunset? The ParkLife project asks how we use our parks, and the ways park managers might deploy this information to design vibrant, supported green space.
The ParkLife project is based around a data toolkit for park managers and other stakeholders who want to foster a healthy park system. The toolkit gives pointers for engaging with local communities about their thoughts on parks; it suggests robust methods for analysing and interpreting data on the uses and users of parks, such as how many people use parks each day, their demographics, and their values.
The project also experiments with new techniques for gathering and analysing park data, primarily through an open source digital dashboard that displays live park data from sensors and social media. The project explores how sensor data can collect, for instance, information on bird and bat frequency and the types of human activities in parks.
Currently ParkLife focuses on 4 of the 145 parks throughout Edinburgh. Our goal is to identify key intersections between users’ values and park objectives and to use this information to support a thriving park system.