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.
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.
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.
There are four factors which determine the success of recreational spaces in the city:
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
Walking in nature, compared with walking in urban areas, decreases anxiety, rumination, and negative emotions.
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.