Professor Selim and team secure funding from Research England Policy Fund

The Research England Policy Fund will support the 'Integrating intercultural cities through belonging in green spaces' project.

Professor Gehan Selim, with Dr Pam BirtillDr Jill Dickinson and Dr Rebecca Brunk, is leading an interdisciplinary project to examine questions about living within diverse communities and ways of reimagining green spaces to promote a sense of belonging in Leeds.

The funding will support developing an evidence-based spatial analysis, community-use mapping and cultural and community behaviour attitudes towards Leeds Green Spaces, underpinned by under-represented community voices and interests in the city's parks and green spaces.

Professor Selim said, “more than 45 million adults visit Leeds green spaces annually. The Culture Strategy for Leeds 2017-2030 identifies green spaces as centres for cultural activity.

“For Leeds to become an intercultural city, it is vital to recognise its community's multicultural diversity and appreciate and value these differences. Green spaces may provide one scalable community solution to this problem”.

We are delighted to collaborate with Leeds City Council to develop a scoping study to identify evidence and types of community engagements to maximise the effective and sustainable use of the city's green spaces.

The project responds to calls by the Leeds Parks & Green Spaces Strategy 2022-32 to build respect, cohesion and coexistence between communities and to drive cultural diversity in urban planning and design policy and practice.

The project activities are co-designed to open a policy discussion dialogue to foster and value green spaces as venues of belonging and interculturalism in the city. 

Read more about the project on its webpage.