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GrowGreen, UK

The research aspects of this project were led by MUI, based within UoM’s Department of Geography. Members of the 360 team led the rare ‘before and after’ evaluation of the introduction of an innovative sustainable park, in a deprived and flood-risk urban area of Manchester (UK).

The intervention, affectionately known locally as a ‘sponge park’ drew on innovative drainage solutions, exciting children’s play and biodiverse landscaping. The four-year study revealed large standardised effects for wellbeing behaviours, including walking, running, socialising and taking notice of one’s immediate environment. In order to enhance the quality of insight, the bespoke research compared to a matched neighbourhood with no intervention. This helped disentangle the impact of Covid on local outdoor space usage, showing that the new sustainable park demonstrated an impact much larger than that caused by the pandemic.

The work has helped underpin sustainable interventions elsewhere in the UK and the data collection approaches have also been adapted for other European settings, helping to secure a ‘pineapple’ award and nomination for several additional awards.

The University of Manchester logo
Manchester City Council Logo

European Commission & MCC


Environmental Science, Data Science, Public Health, Statistics, Geography, Planning.


Manchester City Council, Guiness Housing Trust, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Manchester Climate Agency.

Project Value
£ 10
Key Outputs

3 research papers, 2 project reports, Multiple dissemination materials.

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