Access to greenspaces is crucial for the physical and mental health of young people, yet teenage girls face barriers to accessing greenspace, including lower physical activity levels, heightened mental health risks, and safety concerns. “Greenspace & Us Part 2” builds on previous engagement with teenage girls in East Oxford to understand their need for more inclusive greenspace.
The project consisted of five workshops, co-designed with the participants, resulting in this report, a participant-produced zine, and designs for Cowley Marsh Recreation Ground. These workshops revealed that the girls felt marginalised in their local greenspaces due to age, gender, ethnicity, and gentrification influences. Engagement and co-design empowered the girls and gave them a sense of ownership over these spaces.
Key findings highlighted the disconnect between urban greenspaces and the girls’ preferences, dissatisfaction with available facilities, and the impact of disapproval from other users. The success of a shelter built during “Greenspace & Us Part 1” was highlighted as it provided a desired facility and instilled a sense of ownership. Access to nature within greenspaces was deemed crucial, although it remained an unmet need in their local greenspaces. The girls identified various facilities to enhance greenspaces and collaboratively designed improvements for greenspace engagement. “Greenspace & Us Part 2” demonstrates the potential of co-design in creating inclusive greenspaces that cater to the unique needs of teenage girls, promoting their health and wellbeing.