Green neighbourhoods


Image credit: Stichting Open Boek

Provide a variety of spaces for physical activity

Outdoor active recreation occurs on formal sports fields and also other spaces such as playgrounds, skateboard parks, bicycle and jogging/walking paths and open lawn. Spontaneous ball games in informal green spaces are flexible and do not require specific dimensions, equipment, or numbers of players.

Relaxation is an important form of recreation

Places to meet or be alone, benches or grass for resting, paths for walking, forests and water provide important contact with nature and are examples of passive recreation. A variety of spaces and functions are important to accommodate all the users of neighbourhood parks. Attractive green space near offices also encourages workers to take a walk during breaks for fresh air and relaxation.

Accommodate the user groups

Children, people with a lower socio-economic status, and the elderly are more dependent on their direct living environment to fulfil their exposure to green recreational opportunities. Smaller scale parks distributed throughout the neighbourhoods cater directly to these groups. Larger parks that are more spread out should accommodate all user groups. Provide separate areas for dogs and provide bins for dog waste so play areas remain clean.

Quality and usability are essential

There are four factors which determine the success of recreational spaces in the city:

  • availability (area and distribution of spaces)
  • usability (maintenance, policy, provisions, social safety)
  • accessibility (service area, walking / biking distance)
  • utilization (users and possible activities).

Recreation also encourages recreation related business

Businesses such as restaurants and cafés, kiosks, tourism, water sports, and games can  benefit economically from recreation in the city.

Create a variety of choices for active and passive recreation throughout the city for all ages

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Did you know?

Walking in nature, compared with walking in urban areas, decreases anxiety, rumination, and negative emotions.


Benefits of recreation

  • Encourages people to live healthier lifestyles
  • Stimulates children to grow into healthy fit adults
  • Provides a public space for social contact

New and existing developments

In new development:

Spread ample green parks of various sizes throughout the city. Vary the types of recreational accommodations to reach a broad user group and design with flexibility because user groups can change over time.

In existing development:

Take an inventory of the available recreational spaces and determine how to make existing accommodations more useful and attractive for residents.