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The best UK cities for urban green space


While research suggests urban green space makes humans happier and healthier, a shortage of housing and pressure on land for development means finding it is harder than ever.

So, which UK cities have the best urban green space?

Reporting on a study from mapping firm Esri, The Guardian reveals the top five cities with urban green spaces in the UK:

  • Edinburgh - 49% of its land is green
  • Glasgow (32%)
  • Bristol (29%)
  • Birmingham (24.6%)
  • London (23%).

However, most of the green areas are found on the cities outskirts, meaning they may not be easily accessible to someone living in the city centre.

How accessible are these green spaces?

The Ordnance Survey’s online map of publicly accessible green space placed Birmingham at the top (15.58%) while Bristol was among the least accessible at 6.76%.

This survey does include private golf courses but ignores green space accessible under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000).

So, if you are looking for flower and fauna in the city, you may wish to look further afield than the UK.

No town in Great Britain can beat Vienna in Austria, which boasts 120 square metres of accessible green space per person.

Not only is Vienna very green, but it has been voted the world's most liveable city for the ninth year in a row. With over half of the metropolitan area made up of green spaces; the nearby recreation areas of Prater, Vienna Woods and Lobau; plus around 2,000 parks, you are never too far away from the green stuff.