17 Jul 2018
A Glasgow student is set to undertake a study trip of a lifetime after securing a highly sought after Young Persons Travel Grant from the Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT).
Gemma Kitson (22), from Glasgow, is one of the lucky recipients of £1,000 funding through the initiative which was launched, with support from Skyscanner, as part of 2018’s Year of Young People. Funding is being provided to four young people to visit anywhere in the world to learn more about green infrastructure projects from around the globe and bring the knowledge back to the Central Belt.
Gemma, who is currently in her first year of a Landscape Architecture Master’s Degree, is to travel to King’s Cross to research the involvement of young people in a redevelopment project currently ongoing at the London station.
The expansion plans will turn a former industrial site in London into a new neighbourhood with homes, shops, restaurants and schools. The principles of green infrastructure have been integrated into the project with 40% of the area set to become open space as well sustainable drainage systems being used across the site.
While there, Gemma will visit The Global Generation Skip Garden; a community garden which is made entirely of recycled materials and can move to different parts of the development when one construction site is finished. The unique garden produces organic fruit and vegetables which are cooked and eaten locally and it also helps reduce the urban heat island effect.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Congratulations to the recipient of this brand new travel grant. It’s particularly fitting that in this, the Year of the Young People, the winner will have the opportunity to learn more about innovative green projects that are operating around the world and bring this knowledge and expertise back to Scotland. This type of fresh thinking is important if we are to become a cleaner and greener Scotland.”
Keith Geddes, Chair of CSGNT, believes that the research matches the organisation’s focus of encouraging engagement amongst young people in key environmental issues from climate change to active travel.
He said: “CSGNT is committed to giving young people the opportunity to travel far and wide to conduct research that can be used to improve the future here in Scotland.
“Gemma’s planned trip to see first-hand how London is engaging young people through green infrastructure projects will give us a real sense of how our neighbours in England are attracting enthusiastic youths to these projects.
“Developments like those at King’s Cross are leading the way in environmentally friendly initiatives and we are sure that Gemma will bring back invaluable knowledge that we can learn from.”
Kirsty Ireland, public affairs and corporate communications manager at Skyscanner, added: “Skyscanner are proud to have supported the Young Persons Travel Grant, and were especially impressed by the high calibre of the entries; we offer our congratulations to all the winners. The projects which will be funded by the Grant represent innovative thinking to address what is a key issue of our time and we look forward to watching how these important projects develop.”
As Europe’s largest greenspace initiative, the CSGN will transform the central belt into a place where the environment adds value to the economy and where people’s lives are enriched by its quality. Stretching from Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Dunbartonshire in the west, to Fife and the Lothians in the east, it encompasses 19 local authorities across 10,000sq km and has the potential to benefit 3.5 million people, equating to 70 per cent of Scotland’s population.
For further information on CSGN please visit www.centralscotlandgreennetwork.org