Bradford University to research design and social heritage of city parks

Study launched into Victorian parks
Study launched into Victorian parks

The University of Bradford has been awarded £195,703 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to investigate 'the life, times and social order of Victorian public parks as places of social mixing'.

The project will explore 'the future prospects and lived experience of city parks as public meeting places, in both the Victorian period and the present day'.

Examining three diverse parks in Leeds, it will look at which aspects of the parks' original design remain relevant, and in what way parks have adapted to meet changing social conditions. It will look into the heritage, social purpose, expectations and lived experiences of public parks with the aim of advancing public understanding of the historical experiences and social role that city parks play.

The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration with the University of Leeds and Leeds City Council Parks and Countryside Department.

Team leader Dr Anna Barker, lecturer in sociology at the University of Bradford, said: 'We hope the study will inform and influence public policies and practices at a local, regional and national level on the significance, role and place of urban parks in cities of the future, supporting safe, sustainable and inclusive societies.'

Full abstract available here

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