Parks and open spaces are important elements of a neighbourhood. They provide space for activity and social contact, and are a contrast to the urban built form.
Parks provide a protected outlook for surrounding sites that if marketed well can add value through their guarantee of never being built out.
Good design of public spaces such as roads, parks and streams can improve the amenity and value of a subdivision. Too often parks are inconveniently located, inappropriately sized or poorly overlooked, being comprised of left-over land from the lot design process.
A best practise guide for neighbourhood reserves is available from Council.
DS-1.16.1 Design Elements
The following shall be considered during the design process:
- Open spaces to be highly visible and accessible within the local area.
- Open space should be bounded by as many roads possible. Dwellings fronting the roads and facing the park provide informal surveillance, making them safer.
- Open spaces should be located within walking distance (200m – 400m max) of all dwellings, positively contributing to residential amenity.
- Provide open spaces based on what type of space would add the greatest value to the neighbourhood. In some instances, high quality ecological corridors or pedestrian linkages are more desirable than neighbourhood reserves if there are existing ones (or similar spaces that can offer the same services) close by.
- The number of parks and open spaces in a neighbourhood and their amenities need to be based on:
- Population density and demographics.
- The types of users and their requirements.
- The participation rates for selected activities.
- Use and access to facilities, and gaps in amenity provision.
- Parks should not be made of ‘left-over’ land. The location and design should be informed by the neighbourhood context and site analysis.
- Use open spaces as a design feature, adding value natural and cultural features, and existing trees adding identity to the neighbourhood.
- Connect with other open spaces to form a network.
- Provide walking and cycle paths through an open space network, connecting with adjacent streets.
- Provide a variety of amenities within parks, such as children’s play equipment, landscape areas and public art for passive recreation, and flat land for active recreation.
- Ensure the design of parks takes into account future maintenance requirements and costs.
- On-road car parking should be provided adjacent to all parks.
- Avoid creating spaces, pedestrian linkages, or cycleways that are located between the backs’ of adjacent sites. These are less safe. If unavoidable, ensure there are no high fences.
Definitions in this section