A GOLD Coast landscape architect is taking the green space fight to the State Government.
Chris Moore from the firm THG says the Bligh Government must not ignore Queensland’s existing parks when directing public funds to the provision of green space.
“With all the pressures of increasing population, vehicular usage and land for wildlife, maximising the capacity of our existing public park networks prior to purchasing additional land should not be overlooked,” he says.
Moore made the comments in response to Premier Anna Bligh’s Draft Queensland Greenspace Strategy. The paper aims to secure 50 per cent more land for public recreation by 2020 including council parks, public gardens and play areas through to state forests, national parks and conservation reserves, an increase of up to 40,000ha over the next 10 years.
Moore says while the strategy rightly aims to secure more green space for Queenslanders, it fails to address how the state’s current assets can be better used.
“South East Queensland needs to research, locate, designate and then upgrade existing green spaces that have potential for enhanced recreational uses rather than contributing more of the same to the ongoing urban sprawl,” he says.
“To incorporate a qualitative review of existing urban parkland areas within the strategy would ensure public funds achieve a better, and not just bigger, SEQ.”
Moore identifies opportunities within existing parks to better facilitate recreation for the state’s current and future population.
“Southbank and the new Gold Coast Broadwater Parklands are shining examples of landscape architecture maximising green space potential; they can both accommodate a range of activities and events for all, and their popularity is no secret,” he says.
“That being said, should we all have to add to our carbon footprints and travel for half an hour to access such services and facilities? We need more local parklands upgraded to a greater standard. Better facilities, maintenance and safety at our local parks might be just the ticket to get everyone away from the TV and computer.”
He says consideration should also be given to the creation of multi-use, 24/7 spaces to cater for Queenslanders’ increasingly diverse work and lifestyle choices.
“The proposed strategy considers state population growth until 2020, but gives little consideration to how educational, cultural and technological revolutions will change the way we use our parks in the future and how existing green space can be enhanced to meet changing societal requirements.”
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