Glasgow youngsters helping to shape the future of play in the city

Glasgow’s young people are helping to shape their future play and recreation opportunities in the city.

Staff for the Centre for Civic Innovation have been working with pupils at St Paul’s High School to gather information from kids aged between 12 and 17 about what it is like to live, learn and play in Glasgow.

The pilot project has helped shape the council’s play sufficiency assessment.

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It comes after the National Planning Framework 4, which states play, recreation and sporting sites should be identified in all local development plans, was adopted in 2023.

So far more than 400 pupils at St Paul’s High School in Pollok have taken part and told their stories. A further 18 high schools have participated in the consultation, including over 4000 young people.

Education services have also been collecting information from children aged 3 - 8 across 12 schools in Glasgow and asking them about where and how they play and what they do in our outdoor spaces.

More than 300 early years and primary school pupils have responded so far.

Parents and carers have also been encouraged to to have their say and take part in a general survey for adults.

During the city administration committee, councillor Saqib Ahmed said: “If we want to provide safer facilities for the children we must tackle the grass cutting.

“If the parks are not suitable for the children to go into because the grass is knee high then how can we provide facilities and what can we do to make sure that we have the facilities for our children and young people to go out and enjoy the summer days.”

A report presented to members advised that across the city, cleanliness of open spaces and parks was a key concern for young people.

Councillor Ruairi Kelly said: “There are a number of different aspects that need to be taken into consideration including the biodiversity strategy.

“Some of the feedback that has come from our young people across the city has been identifying specific areas where they would prefer a more regular cutting schedule.

“In my own ward in Croftcroighn we are now setting some of it aside for biodiversity targets and some of it has a more regular cutting schedule for informal play.

“The formal play areas with park equipment which tends to have grass on it as well and that is a different maintenance schedule we need to look at as well.

“That is part of the reason for engaging with young people so they can identify what their needs are in our local parts and open spaces. We can adapt our policies and progresses to meet their needs.”

Members approved the Glasgow Play Sufficiency Assessment which will now be submitted to Scottish Ministers as part of Glasgow City Council’s documentation for the City Development Plan 2.

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