Leeds Parks: Past, Present and Future


  • Roundhay Park Visitors' Centre (adjoining The Mansion) Leeds West Yorkshire United Kingdom

What are the origins of public parks? How do people use and value them today? What are their future prospects?

Based on new research from the University of Leeds, this free exhibition documents how Leeds parks have changed over time. Ever since they were founded in the Victorian era, urban parks have been valued for their role in improving public health, in promoting social mixing, and in providing a space for relaxation and enjoyment for families and communities. However, throughout their history, parks have also faced a series of challenges – from securing adequate funding and support, to managing conflict between different groups of visitors.

The exhibition will present the findings of a major research project into public parks, and showcase a new collection of images of Leeds parks through time, submitted by members of the public. Find out the reasons why public parks were first created, and how their founders hoped they would transform the city around them. Discover which parks in Leeds are the most popular, how they are used, how they benefit the public and what challenges they currently face. And learn about people’s hopes and fears for the future of public parks, in a time of financial cutbacks and growing demand for access to green space.

Visitors of all ages and backgrounds are welcome, and the exhibition will include specific displays and activities for children.

This exhibition is based on research supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (grant number AH/N001788/1), and conducted in partnership with Leeds City Council.

April 8
Park Sport