Assessing urban open space for community leisure in Queensland

Divett, Neil Graham (1988). Assessing urban open space for community leisure in Queensland PhD Thesis, School of Geography, Planning and Architecture, The University of Queensland.

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Author Divett, Neil Graham
Thesis Title Assessing urban open space for community leisure in Queensland
School, Centre or Institute School of Geography, Planning and Architecture
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1988
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Supervisor -
Total pages 283
Language eng
Subjects 750803 Urban planning
Formatted abstract
Indications to date suggest that the planning of urban open space for leisure in Australia has been the subject of little systematic attention. Seemingly it has been regarded as a second level priority in community development, as planning authorities have been reluctant to allocate resources to increase knowledge and understanding of leisure demand. However, with both changes in the patterns of tourism and a possible increase in community leisure time, it is likely that this situation will need to change.

The present study reviews existing literature, both overseas and within Australia, and looks at current methods of data collection and analysis. It also reviews Queensland planning legislation, policies and practices in respect of the provision of urban open space for leisure facilities.

It was undertaken with the primary objective of ascertaining whether planners could contribute to an increased knowledge of urban leisure needs by undertaking demand surveys for leisure using existing resources and notwithstanding current legal and other constraints. If this could be established, the study would serve to influence current thinking in government towards a fresh appraisal of urban leisure activity within the community, and its importance in the distribution of resources.

Three separate surveys were used to examine leisure demands, and factors affecting planning for urban leisure within the Brisbane metropolitan area. For these surveys a simple method of sampling using sequented parcels and map grid co-ordinates was developed which required no special photography, since suitable aerial photos already existed within government resources. The survey questions were designed to elicit significant information which would increase understanding of the practical and legal interrelationships between existing planning and leisure activities, prompted by the dictum that

"Sociology investigation is useless unless it answers questions in such a way that the answers help to determine the optimum distribution of land uses and building types." L.B. Keeble : Principles and Practice of Town and Country Planning, 1968 p. 153

Various relationships between socio-economic factors and the potential demand for leisure were examined. Thus special interest groups such as aged citizens were sampled to test the validity of information obtained from a major household survey. The latter was also checked against information from surveys at selected major shopping centres, in order to test the effectiveness of site specific surveys as an additional means of expanding information collected from a separate wider sample. Having in mind the changing nature of leisure activity as suburban areas developed, samples were examined from areas representing different stages of development.

It was concluded that existing planning for urban leisure purposes appeared to be both unco-ordinated and inappropriate as a method of satisfying demands for equity within the community. Existing methods of providing for urban open space appeared to be influenced more by pressures of a political nature, than by any rational approach to providing an equitable distribution of facilities. There appeared to be little satisfaction within the system, suggesting that methods of planning for urban leisure purposes need to be reviewed to ensure that they more effectively satisfy the actual needs of the community.

Finally, the study identified that while few resources are presently directed towards planning for urban open space purposes, there is limited recognition of the potential for computerised land information systems to assist in overcoming resource problems. The significance of computerised land information systems in Australia was therefore examined, with particular reference to the establishment of a leisure strand within those systems, and the implications for Queensland if such a leisure model was developed. In this latter regard the conclusions which emerge are that computerised land information systems are likely to revolutionise public administration, and will also have a major impact on future leisure planning; that government should now move to establish uniform information codes which will ensure that various future information systems can communicate, and avoid unnecessary duplication; and that the methods outlined in the study provide a useful means by which planning authorities may obtain information about leisure needs for inclusion in such land planning information systems.
Keyword Open spaces -- Queensland
Leisure -- Queensland
Recreation areas -- Queensland
Additional Notes The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access.

Document type: Thesis
Collections: Queensland Past Online (QPO)
UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
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Created: Mon, 07 Dec 2009, 09:57:38 EST by Ms Natalie Hull on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service