Public open space strategy guide for local governments.
There are many other factors to be
considered in addition to the total amount of land to be provided as
public open space within a given area. These include (but are not
limited to) size, function, location and access and the relationship
between these factors and the population they are to serve. To address
this, State and local governments may specify standards for certain
aspects of open space provision through town planning regulation and/or
Standards will vary according to the urban typography,
nature of the public open space and intended users. They will also vary according to
the physical and social environment. Standards generally relate to:
on the recommendations of the Plan for the Metropolitan Region Perth
and Fremantle, 1955 Report (the Stephenson-Hepburn Plan), the Western
Australian Planning Commission’s operational policy known as
Development Control Policy 2.3 – Public Open Space in Residential Areas generally requires 10 percent of the gross subdivisible area
of a conditional subdivision to be given up free of cost by the
subdivider for public open space and vested in the Crown as a Reserve
for Recreation (in accordance with section 152 of the Planning and Development Act). (This
standard is also iterated within Liveable Neighbourhoods 1 and 2).
documents can assist in the development of clear definition of the public open space required and expected by the local government in terms of quality,
function, facilities etc.
March 2014, the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Department
of Water released the Public Parkland Planning and Design Guide which
was based on the classification framework for public open space. This
publication also received input and funding assistance from the Western Australian Planning Commission.
guidelines consider challenges and opportunities unique to WA and offer
good practice planning and design principles and case studies to assist
in the creation and care of parkland assets.
The guide provides
information on water sensitive urban designed communities that match
water use to levels of activity, including the environmental benefits
that parklands provide.
November 2012, the Department of Sport and Recreation published a
Classification Framework for Public Open Space which was developed through
extensive consultation within the Department of Planning, Local
Government and professional industry groups.
The purpose of the
framework is to define terminology that can be universally used to
describe public open space and contains two central categories:
In terms of function, the
classification framework outlines the purpose and description of the
three primary types of open spaces. It also outlines the purpose and
function of each of the four open space catchment hierarchies, together
with the activities that may be included within each.
Liveable Neighbourhoods operational policy (currently being advertised
for public comment) adopts the Department of Sport and Recreation's classification framework completely
and the work around the strategic Assessment for Perth and Perth also
uses the framework’s terminology.
Heart Foundation (in collaboration with the Departments of Education,
Health, Planning, Sport and Recreation and Transport and sponsored by
Landcorp) established the Healthy Active by Design project to develop a
guide and website that links planning and health to support physical
This guide is intended to assist planners, urban
designers and developers to create active and healthy spaces and places
by informing on the design of communities to support and promote healthy
and active living.
Healthy Active by Design is based on nine
key design features including: public open space, shared facilities,
buildings, town centre/main street, schools, movement network, mixed
use, housing diversity and sense of place.
case studies, checklist, examples and related policies are provided for
the public open element (together with the other elements).
previously discussed, one of the most critical considerations in
planning for public open space is to ensure the adequate provision of
active open space together with additional land for supporting
Emerging Constraints for Public Open Space in
Perth Metropolitan Suburbs (2011) and Active Open Space (playing fields)
in a growing Perth-Peel (2013), summary reports produced for the
Department of Sport and Recreation WA, by the Curtin Centre of Sport and
Recreation Research based on research by Middle, G., Tye, M., and
Middle, I. A. suggest general measurements to assist with assessing and
planning for adequate active space provision.
The studies found
that delivering some planning policies (Bush Forever, Water Sensitive
Urban Design and Liveable Neighbourhoods) has resulted in an unintended
consequence, a reduction of the amount of open space to accommodate
organised sport, and that it is highly certain that new suburbs in each
of the fringe growth sub-regions of Perth already have a shortage of
It is thought that there may be a shortfall of
open space for active sport of approximately 495 hectares by 2031 and
without a change in relevant planning policies and State Government
provision of additional regional open space, this shortage will
Referred to as the “Curtin Guidelines”, the following is offered:
is a guide to planners, and not a fixed criterion setting aside around
7m2 per resident as active open space would be adequate. By extension,
anything significantly less than this figure would seem inadequate and
serious consideration needs to be given to providing additional active
For those inner suburbs undergoing infill, many of
which are likely to have regional open space already supplementing the active public open space, then
the data on area of active open space per resident is likely to be a
more relevant consideration because of the likely density difference.
a guide to planners, and not a fixed criterion, setting aside around
1.4% of the residential part of new suburbs as active open space is
likely to be adequate. By extension, anything significantly less than
this 1.4% would seem inadequate and serious consideration needs to be
given to providing additional active open space through either regional open space or
through a reduction in other forms of open space, for example, passive
The studies go to great lengths to stress that these
two metrics should not be seen as design criteria, but as guides in
planning for the future. The figure of 1.4% of the suburb for active
open space, or the figure of 7m2 per resident, are not recommended to be
used as the standards for the provision of active open space.
it is helpful to look to other jurisdictions for guidance in regard to
developing such standards, it is important to acknowledge that any
standards adopted are suitable and applicable to the unique situation of
each individual local government, and that a ‘one size fits all’
approach is not appropriate. For example, the needs of an inner city local government are very different to those of a large outer city local
government, which in turn is different to a regional local government.
addition to differences in standards between local governments, there
may be a need to define what may be considered to be open space
particularly in a situation where land is already well developed and
retrofitting is required. This is an increasingly important
consideration especially for those local governments within the inner
and central sub regions of the Perth metropolitan region.
Liveable Neighbourhoods 2015
proposes to provide greater guidance and direction for public open
space provision, particularly in a strategic sense; however it must be
acknowledged that whilst this will be most helpful in greenfield
development situations, it is less helpful for brownfield development
A number of selected public open space standards
from Local Government and State jurisdictions within Eastern Australia
were compared with standards in Liveable Neighbourhoods 1 and Draft Liveable Neighbourhoods 2015.
A number of common features generally emerged for all examples, including:
(City of Stirling Public Open Space Strategy)
Liveable Neighbourhoods 1
(WAPC Operational Policy – Liveable Neighbourhoods 2009)
(Active Open Space Strategy September 2011)(Also refers to Town of Port Hedland Park Improvement Plan Sept 2007 – superseded)
Irwin (Dongara/Port Denison)
(Shire of Irwin Public Open Space Strategy June 2011)
(Draft Greater Greater Geraldton Public Open Space Strategy July 2014)
(City of Cockburn Public Open Space Strategy 2014-2024)
(City of Canning Public Open Space Strategy Draft December 2014)
(called “Pocket Open Space”) 300m
Do not submit enquiries with this form.