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A new way of planning recreation provision in high density areas

Speaker Name

Anthony Veal and Awais Piracha, University of Technology Sydney and Awais Piracha, Western Sydney University (AUS)


Speaker Profile


A. J. (Tony) Veal is Adjunct Professor in the Business School, University of Technology, Sydney. He is past president of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies and author of numerous books, including: Australian Leisure (Pearson, 2013) and Leisure, Sport and Tourism, Politics, Policy and Planning (CABI, 2017).


Abstract title


Beyond traditional open space criteria: Towards a new way of planning recreation provision in high density areas



Governments in metropolitan areas seeking to cope with growing populations by increasing the density of residential development in existing urban areas, face the question of how to plan for open space and recreation in space-constrained environments. It has long been recognised that the inflexibility and weak evidentiary basis of traditional provision standards make them no longer fit for purpose. Alternative approaches suffer from similar limitations in high density environments. This presentation outlines a new approach based on the proposition that residents of newly densified areas have the right to access to a level of provision which ensures an overall level of recreational participation at least equal to that of the community at large. Planning to achieving this requires: a focus on participation rates; innovation in open space planning and design; and the coordinated  planning of indoor as well as outdoor recreation facilities to accommodate target volumes of participation.