Dundee’s Public Open Space Strategy


Dundee Open Space Usage Pie Chart

The Council believes that Dundee’s parks and open spaces are an important asset and make a valuable contribution to quality of life in the city. The Council wants to look after Dundee’s open spaces, so that they can be enjoyed by present and future generations.

That is why we have written a strategy…

Where are We Now?

Much survey and research work was conducted prior to the development of the strategy.

In summary this concluded that:

  • Dundee has 1400 hectares of open space covering 28% of the urban area.
  • 9 out of 10 people in Dundee visit parks or open spaces every year, with 7 out of 10 people visiting them at least once a month.
  • 86% of people agreed that Dundee has well maintained and attractive open spaces.
  • The most popular reasons for visiting parks were to; take a stroll, visit a children’s play area, walk the dog, get a breath of fresh air and play sport.
  • The main changes people wanted were; to reduce dog fouling, reduce vandalism, improve children’s facilities, and provide more benches and seats.

Where do we want to be?

Vision: Dundee City Council in conjunction with the public, private and voluntary sectors will seek to provide public open spaces that contribute to a high quality of life throughout the City.
Aim 1: Encourage healthy lifestyles by creating and promoting opportunities for recreation, relaxation and fun for people of all ages and abilities.
Aim 2: Enhance the quality of the urban environment by providing a network of diverse, attractive and inspiring green spaces which add colour and life to the City.
Aim 3: Provide safe, and as appropriate, accessible public open spaces which meet the needs of local communities, both now and in the future.
Aim 4: Contribute to the economic prosperity of Dundee by helping to attract inward investment and tourism and by delivering a quality service that is cost-effective, efficient and provides Best Value for the citizens of Dundee.

How do we get there?

As well as the ongoing work of the Council to improve and maintain parks and open spaces, the strategy highlights several new initiatives and areas of work to be progressed, some of which are described briefly below.

Open Space Hierarchy

Open Space Hierarchy

Parks and open spaces cater for a range of visits, from the family day out in a large country park to the daily visit to a local park to walk the dog. These demands can best be met by providing a hierarchy of parks, with parks in each tier designed to meet different needs.

The Council is developing the idea of an “Open Space Hierarchy” that will be used to target improvements to parks where they are most needed and where they will be of most benefit. Guidelines will be developed for each tier to suggest the type of facilities required, the most suitable size and the maximum distance from peoples homes.

In this way the Council can work towards providing a fair distribution of parks across Dundee that will meet the needs of all people.

The Open Space Hierarchy will be made up of the following tiers:

  • Country Parks: A family day out in a countryside setting.
  • City Parks: Parks of city-wide importance, providing something for everyone.
  • Neighbourhood Parks: A range of parks and open spaces across an area, tailored to local needs.
  • Local Parks and Open Spaces: Safe, accessible greenspaces and play areas close to people’s homes.

Outdoor Access


Going for a walk or a stroll is one of the most popular outdoor recreation activities in Dundee. One survey indicted that more people liked to go for a walk or a stroll in a park than any other activity. An Outdoor Access strategy has been set up to create a network of paths for walking, cycling and horse riding.

Children’s Play

One of the most important functions of parks and open spaces is to provide safe opportunities for children’s play. The strategy highlights the need for a city-wide play policy to co-ordinate provision so that it caters for children of all ages and abilities and provides opportunities for adventure play and imaginative play.

The Natural Heritage

The natural heritage of Dundee is a valuable asset that should be protected and enhanced. Parks and open spaces provide a space for nature and an opportunity for people to see and learn about local wildlife. The strategy proposes that important wildlife sites be managed and enhanced, in partnership with local peple and groups.

Information on Parks

Dundee’s Howff

There are many parks across Dundee that provide recreation opportunities, as well as features of historic, cultural, wildlife and horticultural interest. The strategy recommends that information on parks be provided to increase awareness of these valuable places and encourage people to visit and look after them. New leaflets will also be produced for both residents and visitors.

Community Involvement

People are experts on their local areas and the problems that need to be tackled. Community involvement in parks will be increased and “Friends of Parks” schemes supported.


Dundee 21 Strategy
Scottish National Heritage Logo

The development of the strategy was led by the Council’s Leisure and Arts Department, but involved many other departments.
The latest version for 2008 to 2011 was approved by Councillors in August 2008.

The Council worked closely with Scottish Natural Heritage and Outdoor Access on the Strategy. Many local groups, organisations and individuals were also involved at various stages via meetings, surveys and consultation.


For more information or a copy of the full report please contact: