Local space for local people? Trends in the provision and management of urban outdoor recreation in the UK
Ravenscroft, N., (1995) Local space for local people? Trends in the provision and management of urban outdoor recreation in the UK. Working Papers in Land Management & Development. 40/95. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp10.
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This paper examines the growing trend in the UK towards the effective privatisation of formerly public open space and the relationship of this trend to the recent shifts in public sector management. A case study of Reading, England, illustrates the growing cultural and spatial dysfunction, particularly in terms of the declining knowledge and use of the town's urban gardens by the local population. Where once the gardens were a focus of social activity, therefore, they are now a largely irrelevant site of urban decline. In contrast to central urban space, it is clear that other types of open space in other areas can still assume a significance in peoples' lives. In many cases the use of these areas illustrates a counter cultural position in which the consumerism of the city management is actively being resisted. The paper concludes that while there appear to be ways in which local space could be reclaimed for local people, the power to achieve this lies predominantly in the same hands as those responsible for appropriating central space to the imperative of the market in the first instance