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Open Space

Open space fulfils a range of functions including structured and unstructured recreation and leisure pursuits, promotion of physical health, enhanced landscape amenity and social interaction. Interestingly there is also a realisation that green open space delivers significant benefits for urban heat impact. There are over 500 parks and reserves located within the City of Onkaparinga.

Principles guiding decisions about open space provision and management include improving access and equity to open space, enhancing local character and the creation of a sense of place, ownership and ensuring adequate access and supply for future generations. Water management is also an important consideration in the provision of open space.

 

Indicator: Proportion of people accessing open space
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Data source: City of Onkaparinga, Community Wellbeing Monitor Survey
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Strategies / Plans: Environment Strategy 2014-19
Healthy, Active Lifestyle Strategy 2014-19
Open Space Strategic Management Plan (under development)
Cycling and Trails Strategic Management Plan (under development)
Sport and Active Recreation Strategic Management Plan 2014-19
Placemaking Strategy 2014-19
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Community Plan 2035: Objective 1.3 Great lifestyles
Objective 2.1 Healthy, active lifestyles
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Proportion of people accessing open space

Open space is defined as publicly owned land, which is readily accessible by the community for a variety of physical, recreational and leisure purposes. These activities promote health and wellbeing, enhance land amenity and social interactions. Open space includes environmental and linear reserves, local and district parks and large scale areas of land.

As part of the Community Wellbeing Monitor Survey 2016 (10), respondents were asked whether in the last 12 months they had accessed any of the following within the city:

  • Parks and reserves including playing fields
  • Beaches and foreshore
  • Other areas of open space (please specify)

Respondents were then further prompted to indicate the main reason for accessing the open space visited:

  • Walking the dog
  • Access to facilities such as children’s playgrounds
  • Barbecue/picnic and family activities
  • Team sports
  • Exercise
  • Leisure and recreation (for example sitting, reading, kite flying, ball games)
  • Other (please specify)

A total of 411 respondents completed this year’s Community Wellbeing Monitor Survey.

 

Data Analysis

In 2016 more than 86 per cent of respondents indicated that they had accessed parks, reserves and playing fields, 83 per cent of respondents stated that they had accessed beaches and foreshore areas and more than one fifth of respondents indicated that they accessed other open spaces within the city in the last 12 months (Figure 1). The other types of open space respondents had accessed included recreational walking trails, wetlands, bike tracks, areas near rivers and/or creeks, skate parks and tennis courts. 

 

Figure 1: Proportion of respondents accessing open space in the City of Onkaparinga, 2009–2011, 2013 and 2016

CWM-open-space-proportion-of-respondents-accessing-open-space-in-the-city-of-onkaparinga

Source: City of Onkaparinga, Community Wellbeing Monitor Survey (10)

 

In 2016, the most popular reason respondents were accessing open space was for individual exercise, this was closely followed by leisure and recreational purposes and then walking the dog (Table 1).

Table 1: Main purpose for accessing open space in the City of Onkaparinga, 2009–2011, 2013 and 2016

Main purpose 2009 (%) 2010 (%) 2011 (%) 2013 (%) 2016 (%)
Exercise (individual) 28.3 62.3 66.2 55.0 60.1
Leisure and recreation 57.9 69.7 63.6 46.0 59.1
Walking the dog 59.8 52.6 51.1 41.8 49.4
Access to facilities 56.1 49.7 51.1 36.7 43.1
BBQ/picnic/family activites 44.2 43.6 47.6 24.1 42.3
Team sports 17.8 18.7 18.2 11.6 16.1
Other 8.1 6.7 32.0 7.4 13.6

Source: City of Onkaparinga, Community Wellbeing Monitor Survey (10)

 

In 2016 over 13 per cent of respondents indicated other reasons for accessing open space within the city and these included walking, cycling, fishing, photography, community events, swimming, group fitness, outdoor markets, horse riding and volunteering.

Trend Analysis

CWM climate change and energy - Energy trend analysis

In 2016 there was a 9.3 per cent increase in the proportion of respondents indicating that they had accessed parks, reserves and playing fields compared with 2009 (Figure 1). The proportion of respondents accessing beaches and foreshore areas was very similar between 2009 and 2016, with only a one per cent decrease observed in 2016. While a greater proportion of respondents indicated that they accessed other types of open space areas within the city, the areas accessed were very similar.

The main reasons for accessing open space have changed considerably between 2009 and 2016 (Table 1). In 2016 there has been a 112 per cent increase in the proportion of respondents utilising open space for individual exercise when compared with 2009. The other most noticeable change in trend between 2009 and 2016 includes a 23.3 per cent decrease in the proportion of people utilising open space to access facilities such as playgrounds, and a 17.4 per cent decrease in respondents walking the dog.

Policy Implications

With the vast majority of respondents accessing open space within the city in 2016, the City of Onkaparinga will need to continue to ensure that resident’s access to open space will be maintained and that links to open space are continued to be improved. This will be achieved through the draft Open Space Strategic Management Plan and supporting open space planning for our seven districts. The City of Onkaparinga will also ensure the provision of active recreation and infrastructure, and the enhancement of the quality, connection and diversity of trails, pathways and footpaths across the region, as in accordance with the Sports and Active Recreation Strategic Management Plan 2014-19 and draft Cycling and Trails Strategic Management Plan.

 

In addition, an analysis of surface temperature in February 2016 has found that the hottest areas in our urban district included dry/dead grass and vegetation, exposed soil and unshaded hard surfaces. Open space has an important role in creating or alleviating heat islands and this has implications for tree cover and use of irrigation.

Delivering on all of these initiatives will contribute to achieving Community Plan Objective 1.3 Great Lifestyles and Objective 2.1 Healthy, Active Lifestyles.


 

This indicator is linked to other strategies, plans and targets outlined below:

Government of South Australia South Australia’s Strategic Plan Targets: 1. Urban spaces: increase the use of public spaces by the community.
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Other State Strategies • The 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide
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National Strategies: • N/A
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