Healthy Spaces & Places Healthy Spaces & Places

Development Types

Regional Recreation Facilities

Soccer training, Canberra
Accessible and appropriate recreational facilities can contribute
to increased physical activity in adults and children.
Source: Planning Institute of Australia

Regional recreation facilities often use large areas of land, sometimes with significant infrastructure and buildings, and are dedicated to a specific type or broad range of recreation and sporting activities.  The planning of these facilities is especially important given their size and the number of users or spectators that are likely to use or attend the facility.  Facilities that could be categorised as a regional recreation facility include sports stadia, equestrian centres, children’s play facilities, aquatic centres and major playing fields incorporating a range of different organised sports such as athletics, tennis, hockey, soccer and netball.

Regional recreation facilities cater for organised sports that attract not only those persons participating in the sport but also spectators  The priority, from a health planning perspective, is to ensure that clearly designated sports facilities are provided on a regional scale and that active transport options are available for users to access these facilities (Sunjara, 2008).

The location and type of regional recreation facility should consider equitable distribution within a town, city or region to allow maximum access to users and attendees.

Regional Recreation Facilities should provide:

  • Public transport options when the facility is expected to have a large number of attendees such as football stadiums.
  • Easy access to the facility via walking and cycling networks for both day and night time use.
  • End of trip facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, including secure bike storage.
  • Facilities that cater for a range of age groups and where practicable a range of users.

Regional recreation facilities cater for organised, structured sports and attract not only those persons participating in the sport but also spectators.  The priority, from a health planning perspective, is to ensure that clearly designated sports facilities are provided on a regional scale and that active transport options are available for users to access these facilities.

Health & Planning Fact

People who are involved in organised sport can be players or be involved in non-playing roles such as coaches, umpires and administrators.  People can also be involved in more than one kind of sport or physical activity and in more than one role.  In the 12 months to April 2007, an estimated 4.5 million people aged over 15 years (27% of people 15 years and over) reported they were involved in organised sport and physical activity.  This included 3.8 million players and 1.6 million people in non-playing roles (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2007).

The West Australian Department of Sport and Recreation (2009), cites the benefits of participating in sport and physical activity to include:

  • improved physical health and wellbeing
  • improved mental health
  • enhanced social outcomes and
  • reduced health care costs.

 Click here for more detailed information and practice advice on health and planning for Regional Recreation Facilities.

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Resources
References

Your Development - Design for Open Space

Related Design Principles
Active Transport

Parks and Open Space

Development Type
Neighbourhood Parks

 

Last updated on 17th August, 2009

Sponsors This project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.