The Landscape Guide

16.19 The ownership and management of public open space

Contents list

So far we have been considering park character. To make progress with the diversification of parks, organizational changes will be required. Specialists need to become involved with park ownership and management. One can start with the question of public ownership. Should parks be owned by local government, central government, commercial organizations, non-profit organizations, charitable trusts or community groups? All of them. Each provides strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. See additional note on park ownership.

Public spaces should also be managed by churches and other beneficial organizations. Only one letter separates God from Good. Both stand for that streak of altruism and non-materialism upon which civilization depends. The great merit of diverse ownership is that expertise can be brought to bear on park management.

Even if municipalities wish to retain ownership and control of parks, they should certainly set up user groups to advise on park management. They may need a noticeboard and a place to meet in the park. Without good information one cannot take good decisions. This is the principle of modern management, and of generalship throughout the ages.

Park user feedback

The old approach to park management

A more modern approach?