Investing in quality infrastructure for Australian parks can provide a significant boost to the local economy by encouraging tourism and community engagement. By creating parks that provide a range of features for families of all ages and abilities, councils are encouraging community and residential real estate, thereby creating new jobs and fuelling the local economy.
What is Quality Infrastructure?
Quality infrastructure should, first and foremost, be constructed to high standards, with safety and function at the forefront. The quality of materials and construction practices should never be compromised, and every piece should be up to the current Australian safety standards. Choosing a trusted supplier that understands the needs of the space and has the construction skills and expertise to match, will provide numerous benefits in the long run.
Secondly, the infrastructure should add value to the space. Park furniture such as seating, shelters, public barbecues, drinking fountains etc. should be inclusive, functional and – as an added bonus – complement the aesthetics of the space. They should allow for groups of all sizes to gather together and enjoy everything the park has to offer in comfort. Playgrounds should provide inclusive play options and include the typical equipment expected in every park i.e. swings, slides etc. Additional value can be added with playgrounds that offer unique experiences and creative themes. Recreational infrastructure such as tennis courts and basketball hoops will encourage large groups to come to the park and engage in healthy outdoor activities.
Finally, the importance of public amenities should not be underestimated. Toilets and change rooms should be equipped to meet demand, be clean, well-lit and functional.
How Does Quality Infrastructure Benefit the Economy?
Public parks with quality infrastructure can grow local economies by attracting businesses, investors and visitors from near and far, thereby generating financial returns that are greater than the money initially invested into the project.
Residential and commercial properties have greater value when located close to a park, adding up to 15-20% retail value. Families prefer to be close to greenspaces that provide opportunities for exercise, play and general outdoor enjoyment, and businesses benefit from being able to provide for these patrons.
Parks that offer unique and innovative infrastructure in particular can generate significant revenue from tourists. This infrastructure could be in the form of unique playspaces, which provide play opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere, this could include sky walks, bouldering, waterplay and more. This infrastructure can also include recreation opportunities, such as state-of-the-art fitness spaces, or event locations. Parks that can host events like festivals, fetes, concerts and sports carnivals can bring even more boosts to the economy.
With all of the benefits that they offer, parks with quality infrastructure generate extensive numbers of jobs in a wide variety of industries – from construction, to maintenance, to hospitality and more – helping to provide livelihoods for communities and boost the local economy.