SYDNEYSIDERS will have more opportunities for a healthy outdoor lifestyle under a $400 million plan for open space and new recreation and sporting facilities, the City of Sydney announced last week.
The City's draft Open Space, Sports, Recreation and Needs Study recommends park and sporting upgrades and new open space over the next 15 years, which would lead to an extra 36 hectares of open space for recreation across the local area by 2030.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said providing open spaces, sporting and recreation facilities for the city's rapidly growing communities is a top priority.
"Three quarters of our residents live in apartments – the city's parks and playgrounds are their backyards," the Lord Mayor said.
"Since 2004, we've spent more than $270 million on more than 50 new or upgraded sporting facilities, parks and playgrounds.
"We already maintain 90 playgrounds, 21 tennis courts, 13 outdoor courts, 13 playing fields, eight indoor recreation centres, five aquatic centres, six fitness gyms and four skate facilities and we've budgeted for five new sports fields, including Gunyama Park, Green Square, Perry Park and Alexandria.
"We're building recreation spaces at Garraway Park, Green Square, McPherson Park, Ashmore Estate, Harold Park and Forest Lodge, and we're upgrading or building skate facilities at Federal Park, Sydney Park and Green Square.
"We know there's more that can be done, which is why we've had extensive discussions with local sporting groups, developed a strategy that outlines how we can meet future demand, and budgeted another $400 million over the next 15 years to create an extra 36 hectares of open space for recreation across our local area."
The City has spent more than $270 million over the last 10 years on open space, sport and recreation. This includes award-winning new facilities such as Prince Alfred Park and Pool and a state-of-the-art sports field, grandstand and training area for Redfern Park and Oval. Other improvements include playing fields at Jubilee Oval and Waterloo Oval as well as 48 new or upgraded playgrounds.
The study reviewed population trends, sports participation and best use of community space for residents and groups. It accounts for facilities such as aquatic centres, gymnasiums, parks, ovals and sports fields, and outdoor and indoor courts as well as the use of new technologies and approaches.
The City owns or manages around 189 hectares or public open space. When the open space managed by other agencies is included, there is total of 386 hectares, representing around 14.8 per cent of the local government area.
With the study's recommendations in place, this will increase to 16.2 per cent. The State Government's Recreation and Open Space Planning Guidelines for Local Government recommend 15 per cent, a benchmark the City will comfortably exceed.
The study recommends:
- Increasing the number of parks, sports and recreation areas across the city with over $400 million allocated across the next 10 years;
- Upgrading Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Observatory Hill Park;
- Providing five new sports fields, including Gunyama Park, Green Square, Perry Park and Alexandria;
- Building recreation spaces at Garraway Park, Green Square, McPherson Park, Ashmore Estate, Harold Park and Forest Lodge;
- Developing partnerships with schools and other agencies to increase access to sports fields; and
- Increasing skate facilities at Federal Park, Sydney Park and Green Square.
The City said it will work with the community to discuss partnerships and sharing space to increase opportunities for community sport and recreation.