Planning for play: seventy years of ineffective public policy? The example of Glasgow, Scotland


Wright V, Kearns A, Abrams L & Hazley B (2019) Planning for play: seventy years of ineffective public policy? The example of Glasgow, Scotland. Planning Perspectives, 34 (2), pp. 243-263.

This paper looks at the planning and provision of outdoor play spaces for children over a seventy-year period since the Second World War. Using Glasgow as a case study, the paper examines whether and how research on families and children living in flats has been used to inform national and local planning policies in this area, and in turn how well policy is converted into practice and provision on the ground. The paper considers these issues in four time periods: the period of post-war reconstruction from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, when large amounts of social housing was built; the period of decline and residualization of social housing in the 1970s and 1980s; the 1990s and 2000s when several attempts were made to regenerate social housing estates; and the last five years, during which time the Scottish Government has developed a number of policies concerning children’s health and physical activity. Planning policy in Glasgow appears to have been ineffective across several decades. Issues such as a weak link between research and policy recommendations, unresolved tensions between a number of policy options, and a lack of political priority afforded to the needs to children are identified as contributory factors.

Outdoor play spaces; planning; policy; provision; long term; Glasgow, Scotland

Planning Perspectives: Volume 34, Issue 2

FundersThe Leverhulme Trust
Publication date31/12/2019
Publication date online29/10/2017
Date accepted by journal29/10/2017
PublisherInforma UK Limited