Urban Development Institute of Australia
Western Australia Division Incorporated
Members Login

Open spaces should meet changing needs 02/05/2016

Public open space is an integral part of development and is important for nurturing a local community as well as the wellbeing of residents.

Public open space is an integral part of development and is important for nurturing a local community as well as the wellbeing of residents.

In most cases, developers are required to provide at least 10 per cent of a development for public open space. This land is established by the developer and eventually handed over to the local authority for ongoing maintenance.

Public open space has certainly evolved over time from a few parks or green spaces to areas of multiple use and environmental benefit.

With increasing housing density, the creation of useable open space that provides alternatives for people with limited privacy is even more critical.

Developers are also taking into account the ageing population and the need for ease of access to spaces as well as the opportunities for different uses for the same spaces to suit a variety of needs.

In terms of environmental and sustainability aspects of public open space, developers are increasingly undertaking initiatives that include native vegetation planting, preserving existing vegetation where possible and implementing watersensitive urban-design principles.

An example of how environmental aspects of public open space are a focus is the UDIA awardwinning project The Glades at Byford, where drainage corridors include habitat for native flora and fauna as well as being used as recreational areas connected by bike and walk trails.

At the Perry Lakes redevelopment site, another UDIA award winner, sustainability in public spaces, is a key priority and substantive use of recycled materials also reflects the sporting heritage of the site. Existing wetlands have also been rehabilitated and become a feature of the development.

Many developments also include lakes or other water features. These water features are often there for more than just aesthetic reasons, they also have important uses such as drainage.

Some of the most significant challenges faced by the development industry and local governments in ongoing maintenance of public open space are water use and availability.

With water available for public irrigation scarce in many areas, developers employ innovative approaches and technologies in the design of open space and sourcing of water. UDIA continues to work with government in looking to ensure that policies in relation to water help to facilitate innovative approaches.

Further work is needed to ensure the ongoing sustainability of water sources and use. One such area is aquifer recharge, where stakeholders are able to replenish vital water sources in some cases through effective recycling of the water used. The challenge now is in developing clear guidance and processes which encourage and enable recharge to occur more regularly.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Comments are moderated by an administrator before being published.

Comments

To leave a comment, use the above form. Comments are moderated by an administrator before being published. Your email address will not be published.

Return to archive

Related articles

Featured articles

Categories

Proudly supported by

  • Strategen
  • Rawlinsons
  • LD Total
  • Mirvac
  • Landgate
  • Landcorp
  • Stockland
  • QWest Paterson
  • Pindan
  • The West Australian

Subscribe

UDIA WA’s email newsletter provides you with recent news and events on the urban development industry. You are able to unsubscribe at any time.