Active Open Space (Playing Fields) in a Growing Perth-Peel

Research Summary


Active Open Space


Assoc. Prof. Garry Middle, Professor Marian Tye, Dr Isaac Middle



Published by:

Department of Sport and Recreation (WA)

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This is the second study commissioned by the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR) addressing the decrease in the number and amount of active open space provided in growing Perth city following the implementation of three key policy initiatives: Bush Forever, Water Sensitive Urban Design and Liveable Neighbourhoods. The report makes detailed and comprehensive recommendations for future planning and policy to address active open space inequality, mapped out against suburban regions. Adjustments to the Liveable Neighbourhoods policy is proposed to hold the greatest opportunity for gains in the future, by shifting the balance on the number of pieces of public open spaces provided so that there are fewer but larger spaces suitable as active playing fields, as are joint initiatives that see the sharing of existing playing fields for dual school and community use.

In providing a credible body of evidence regarding the shortfall in Public Open Space (POS) provision, this study had a major impact on the issues associated with the planning, design and management of POS. As a result, DSR developed a suite of resources to assist in overcoming impediments to the delivery of quality POS for community sport and recreation. The findings from this study have brought the urgent need for the provision of active open spaces to address the existing shortfall to the forefront of DSR’s agenda. Amongst its impacts has been the development of DSR’s Classification Framework for Public Open Space, the establishment of a working group investigating immediate interventions, such as shared use of school ovals, and a review of the Liveable Neighbourhoods policy to better address current and emerging needs.

How to cite:

Middle, Garry, Tye, Marian, and Isaac Middle. Active Open Space (Playing Fields) in a Growing Perth-Peel. A report for the Department of Sport and Recreation WA. Perth. November 2012.