About the project

GreenspaceHack aims to facilitate better designs of greenspaces by providing robust evidence on which characteristics of greenspace citizens value most and which contribute to promoting healthier urban environments at individual and local levels. Our objectives include:

  • To make data available for communities to pursue their own objectives
  • To provide a publicly available open map documenting green spaces
  • To promote green space as an agenda issue
  • To create an open dataset and standardised survey that could be replicated globally
  • To create a datasource setting a new standard of detail for global mapping resources
  • To support a more publicly orientated local government

The project utilises a crowdsource-enabled smartphone survey based on the validated NEST tool. It consists of simple multiple choice items and free text based questions that will help urban planners understand the most important characteristics of greenspaces.

The first phase of the project was delivered through a series of stakeholder workshops in order to develop, pilot and evaluate the smartphone app. The project is led by the University of Oxford and the Oxfordshire County Council and includes partners from the Oxford City Council and Smart Oxford, Cambridgeshire County Council and Smart Cambridge, University of Newcastle and NHS Healthy New Towns: Bicester Healthy New Town and Northstowe Healthy New Town.

GreenspaceHack forms part of a wider Oxfordshire County Council innovation stream to develop and deploy ‘citizen sensing’ tools, helping upskill local communities to analyse and improve their environments beyond traditional ownership boundaries.

The Team

Stuart Cole - Stuart is a researcher for the Innovation Hub (iHUB) at Oxfordshire County Council. He is currently working on a number of projects looking at active travel, green spaces and air quality. He is the originator of the Cycle Infrastructure Evaluation; a project looking at how digital mapping tools can lever the knowledge of local communities and councils to better understand the challenges of cycling and, through open publication of data, generate secondary impact from a community level up.

Richard Fairhurst - Richard is a geospatial developer and cartographer who has been involved with the OpenStreetMap project since its first days in 2004. His experience in outdoor leisure and greenspace activities includes creating the cycle.travel route-planning website, 15 years working on inland waterway projects, and route development and volunteering for the National Cycle Network.

Andy Hong - Andy is an Urban Health Scientist and Professor at the University of Utah. He is also Co-founder of the Healthy Cities Network, a global nexus of innovators dedicated to sharing cutting-edge information on urban health. His research interests lie at the nexus of data science, geography, and public health. By bridging the gap between these areas, he aims to help policy makers to develop evidence-based policy solutions to a wide range of global health challenges, from promoting physical activity to reducing the environmental burden of disease in marginalized communities.

Anant Jani - Anant is an Oxford Martin Fellow at the University of Oxford. He is interested in understanding how we can improve population health through social prescriptions and by addressing social determinants of health. The interrelated levers of his work include: value based healthcare, the strategic use of new technologies (clincial, basic science, diagnostics, IT) and impact finance / impact investing.

Header image by Mario Sanchez Prada, licensed CC-BY-SA, from Flickr.