Before any money could be spent, evidence was required to ensure this money was being used in the right areas. Fortunately the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) were able to access Ordnance Survey (OS) services and expertise because they are members of the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA).
OS was approached by DLUHC to provide that evidence, as well as an understanding of the current access to green spaces in deprived areas and expert geospatial support.
But the first thing to establish was what constitutes a deprived area? And what is accessible? Is a 15-20 minute walk reasonable? Can people reach an area of green space on foot without crossing a motorway?
OS utilised Indices of Deprivation data from ONS to hone in on certain areas that have the highest level of deprivation. With that knowledge and what counts as accessible having been established, the methodology quickly took shape.
Using ArcGIS Pro, which is a tool that allows you to use various maps and datasets in a single project, technical experts at OS overlayed the deprived areas with OS MasterMap Highways - Roads and OS MasterMap Highways - Paths and OS Open Greenspace datasets. This illustrated how accessible current green space is as well as shining a light on accessible areas where new pocket parks could be created.
With over 20,000 changes to the OS National Geographic Database of Great Britain every single day, OS was able to provide DLUHC with the most authoritative geospatial evidence possible to support their policy. Thanks to access to OS data and expert support from OS staff, DLUCH is on track to achieve its target of 100 new or improved green spaces.
Furthermore, this work can lead to improved health and wellbeing outcomes in deprived communities, create more and improve existing green spaces as well as improving landscapes and biodiversity.