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Outcome 5 – Improving health and well-being

Outcome 5 – Improving health and well-being

Greenspace becomes a central feature of people’s lives and they recognise and welcome the role it plays in their day to day well-being and happiness. Communities’ health and well-being improves through the use of greenspace.

Green infrastructure close to where people live provides health and recreational benefits and enhances their quality of life through improving the quality of their local environment and their sense of place. People of all ages and abilities feel safe and confident to use and enjoy their greenspace. More people benefit from recreation and formal and informal exercise in greenspace. People's mental health and well-being is better as a result of increased contact with nature and with their community.

Healthcare professionals increase their use of green prescribing as an alternative to prescription drugs or other therapies. Greenspace helps patients, visitors and staff to see their hospital or medical centre as a positive place.

ERDF Horizontal Themes

The ERDF 2014-2020 programme has three Horizontal Themes which cut across all the activity it funds. The GISI aims to deliver towards these as an integral part of all its funded projects, and their cumulative impact.

Environmental Sustainability

Enhancing the role of environmental sustainability in economic and social development will promote the sustainable use and conservation of Scotland’s environmental assets. Improving the quality of local communities’ environment, supporting actions which reduce the adverse impacts of climate change, and improving the biodiversity of the urban environment are at the heart of the GISI. Delivering improvements in local greenspace and to local green infrastructure will help communities and neighbourhoods become more sustainable.

Social Inclusion

Scotland’s most deprived areas suffer from multiple negative outcomes. People living in areas of multiple deprivation often have poorer quality environments and therefore reduced ecosystem services, which can have a disproportionate impact on the poor, deprived and vulnerable in society. Poor and degraded local environments are associated with health inequalities, and poor quality local greenspaces have an adverse impact on people’s perceptions and use of the outdoors. The results of the Scottish Household Survey show that people who live in the most deprived areas are more likely to have less local greenspace close to where they live, are less likely to visit the outdoors or local greenspace and are likely to be the most dissatisfied with their local greenspace. They are therefore less likely to experience the acknowledged benefits of spending time outdoors for physical and mental health and well-being. These same areas often suffer from low economic growth and the poor quality environment can be a barrier to attracting inward investment.

Equal Opportunities

The United Nations sees community participation as an important tool in its Sustainable Development Goals – particularly Goal 5: Gender Equality, and Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities. Good community engagement is an important element of the GISI. Adhering to best practice will ensure that protected characteristic groups (such as young mothers) which commonly are missed in consultation will be empowered to express their needs. As a result they are more likely to value and use the greenspaces improved as part of the GISI.

There are nine Protected Characteristics specified within the Equality Act 2010:

• Age
• Disability
• Gender reassignment
• Marriage and civil partnership
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Race
• Religion and belief
• Sex
• Sexual orientation

Projects are required to be scoped and designed to be as inclusive as possible, to increase participation in training and volunteering opportunities by local people and groups with protected characteristics and ensure that there is equal opportunity to access and participate in greenspaces.