Almost 98 per cent of the District’s residents live within 400 metres of open space (refer to Figure 23)27. For people living in high density areas, access to local open space within the recommended 200 metres is poor along Canterbury Road and the T3 Bankstown Line, particularly between Campsie and Wiley Park.
Open space for organised outdoor sport makes up only four per cent of the local open space in the District28. The District is characterised by high levels of participation in organised sports, which results in considerable wear and tear on playing fields and places demands on councils to maintain these facilities for year-round use. A trend towards greater participation in sport by women and people over 35, as well as a trend towards indoor sports and sports requiring less space such as futsal, is changing patterns of demand for sports fields and facilities.
Open space within school grounds is a potential asset that could be shared by the wider community outside of school hours. Additional open space areas and sports and recreation facilities, as well as innovative use of existing areas and facilities will be required, especially in areas where residential density is increasing and there is limited scope to provide additional capacity. This includes the Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor and along Canterbury Road.
Urban renewal and infrastructure programs should result in a net increase in open space. Where the future of any larger spaces used for activities such as golf courses are uncertain, due to declining membership and attendance figures, any land or facilities in public ownership should be retained as open space and transition to shared open space and facilities including for organised sports. For land in private ownership, there may be opportunities for part of the land to be repurposed or set aside for open or shared spaces.
The Government Architect NSW is developing an open space toolkit, a resource for councils to use for open space planning.