Showcasing Bristol's parks and green spaces


Digital Placemaking

Executive Summary

Created as part of the Bristol Green Capital Project, the Parkhive app showcases Bristol’s beautiful parks and green spaces. Using GPS to identify the parks nearby, Parkhive offers residents and visitors key information about the parks, to encourage people to explore new areas of the city. As well as providing information on how to get to the site, Parkhive also tells users the features of each park, including play areas, toilets, cafes, sports facilities, water features and more.


We decided to work with Calvium because they would provide a learning opportunity for our graduates to work with a leading tech company and learn app building skills. The app building process was collaborative, developed between our teams, and the opportunity to have a hands-on approach was a major draw for us. Calvium’s ethos is exactly in line with our organisation’s goal to build new relationships between the university and external partners, and the successful outcome of this project is an important example of that.

Sam Thomson, Director of Civic and Cultural Engagement UWE, Lead Coordinator, Bristol Parkhive


Parkhive was produced through collaboration between the Bristol Parks Forum and the University of the West of England’s Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education. The Parkhive team wanted it to be possible for any member of the Bristol Parks Forum to submit information about their parks, ready to be added to the app. At the end of this process, the Parkhive team had gathered information from over 200 green spaces in and around Bristol, each with photos and insights from local people. Managing this amount of information and ensuring it was inputted into the app reliably was a daunting task. The Parkhive team was therefore keen to work with a developer who had the tools to manage this process.

How Calvium Helped

The Parkhive team chose to work with Calvium because of our extensive portfolio of happy clients who have used our methods on similar projects. Over the years we have refined the process of working with content developers, so they can add in their own content to an app easily.

We found Calvium to be fun, professional and easy to engage with. They helped us overcome previous technical boundaries and have helped us expand our project and create a great app.

Sammy Milton, Content Producer from UWE

Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans

The app was launched at Bristol Festival of Nature in June 2015 and received great reviews from attendees of the festival. It has also earned the attention of The Observer and Bristol Post as well as being featured on the BBC News coverage of the Festival of Nature.

More recently news of the app reached the European Commission and received a fantastic write up on the European Green Capital Website. The team are extremely pleased with the finished app and are excited by it’s future potential to encourage people to visit green spaces in other parts of the country.

We’ve already had interest from a number of other councils to build similar park apps for their areas

Lisa Friedberg, Project Coordinator, Bristol ParkHive

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