About

Better Parks for People is a FACS Liveable Communities project.

Purpose of the study

In this study, we aim to develop and trial a tool to improve strategic planning of parks in the City of Albury in order to provide better access and facilities for older people. Research shows that age-friendly parks increase well-being by providing attractive places for physical activity, social interaction and enjoyment of nature. Previous research and feedback from local government indicate a lack of tools to assist with planning parks for better usage by different segments of the population. It is aimed to promote the well-being of older people in Albury through increasing their enjoyment and capacity to use local parks for recreation and activity.

Methods

We used focus groups, surveys, park observations and council interviews to identify needs and collect data on how and why people use parks (social data). We then classified all public open space in Albury, recording size, function and facilities (spatial data). Together with information from the survey, focus groups and literature, the parks are assigned a score which indicates how likely older people are to visit each park. This is then combined with census data and roads (including paths and trails) to create different sized demographic catchments around each park. The model and data will be incorporated into a spatial tool to be used by councils to improve decision-making in urban park planning.

 

Photo credits: Alexandra Knight and Catherine Conroy