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How did communities adapt public spaces during Covid-19?

How did communities adapt public spaces during Covid-19?
How did communities adapt public spaces during Covid-19?
"The survey will take approximately five minutes and asks participants to describe and provide information about one change to a space, including identifying its location on a map. Information about more than one change can be provided by completing additional surveys"

Researchers at the James Hutton Institute are investigating the ways in which communities have adapted public spaces during the Covid-19 pandemic. Every community in the UK felt the impacts of the pandemic, and many of us experienced a complete shift in the way that we lived our lives: empty social calendars, working remotely, and limited time outdoors and in public spaces.

However, Covid-19 also presented an opportunity for communities to find innovative ways to come together and to create something positive through the difficult circumstances in which we were living. Many people and communities made voluntary changes to local spaces, possibly by exploring new areas, making improvements (including ‘community clean ups’) or changing how land was used.

The Institute project aims to produce a crowd-sourced database of the locations and forms of these and other ‘bottom-up’ adaptations to the pandemic, which may reflect community resilience and adaptive capacity.

If you are aged 18 or over; live in Aberdeen, Banchory, Ellon, Peterhead or Portlethen; and know about any changes to public spaces made during the pandemic by local people, households, community groups or businesses, you are invited to complete this online survey.

The survey will take approximately five minutes and asks participants to describe and provide information about one change to a space, including identifying its location on a map. Information about more than one change can be provided by completing additional surveys.

The survey does not ask respondents to provide any personal or identifying information, and fully anonymised data and outputs will be publicly available. This research is funded by the Macaulay Development Trust and is led by Dr Laura MacLean of the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Department. For more information, please see our full information sheet and/or contact laura.maclean@hutton.ac.uk, jonathan.hopkins@hutton.ac.uk.

Press and media enquiries: 

Adam Walker, Communications Officer, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395095 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard).


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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.