Things to Consider When Planning a New Public Park

Posted March 19, 2024 by in Lifestyle
woman in park with bike

Everybody loves to go for a walk in the park, or maybe just lounge on a park bench and watch everybody else go on their walks. Parks are a very important feature of any community, they provide a bit of nature in urban environments and can act as a gathering place for festivals and public events. If you are part of the planning process to create a park space in your community or are working to persuade your neighbourhood or city to transform an unused public space into a new park, we have some suggestions that might help you with the process.

While many public parks share similarities, no two are exactly the same. At one time the process of turning fallow land into a park involved bulldozing over all of the existing vegetation and landforms to make a big flat swath of grass. While some grassy areas are good to have, these days land clearing services work with the existing habitat to remove unnecessary, unsightly, or even dangerous old trees and thorny underbrush, while preserving everything that can add to the new park’s natural beauty. Trees and native plants are preserved when possible, and existing hillocks and valleys become part of the scenery, creating a park that is easily accessible to people, but still feels like a part of nature.

Ideally, there will be something for everyone in a public park! Of course, this will be dependant on the location and amount of land you have available, but here are some things to consider including:

  • Sports Fields and Facilities – Will there be a pitch to play ball on? What about a tennis court or a volleyball net? Swimming and wading pools? Track and field? Outdoor fitness equipment?
  • Public Amenities – Will you have public restrooms? Showers for sports? Picnic tables and benches? Grills for cookouts? A covered cabana for rainy-day gatherings? Drinking fountains?
  • Water Features – This might depend on what already exists on the site and can be developed, or they could be created artificially. Will there be a lake? If so, can people swim or boat on it? What about paddle boat and canoe rentals? Fishing?
  • Playground – Kids love playgrounds, and so do parents who can relax on a bench while their youngsters work off some energy! How about a slide? Swing sets? A whirligig? Those bouncy horses on big springs? A climbing structure?
  • Shade Structures – It gets hot down under, so it’s nice to have a place to get out of the heat of the day. Will there be any covered pavilions or picnic areas? A trellis with climbing plants? Are there shade trees on site that paths and benches can make use of?

The Australian Government has guidelines on the use of public spaces, so your project will need to find out what the local authorities will allow before you begin planning. We hope this inspires your community to build a fantastic public park for people to enjoy for years to come, it’s a lasting legacy that helps make Australia a great place to live!