Could the community develop + ‘own’ their local parks?
Georgina de Beaujeu
Park Foundations enable residents to collaborate to improve their existing parks + create new parks
What’s the issue?
We need more parkland if we are to ensure every Sydneysider can access quality open space within 10 minutes. This means investment. To meet this challenge, we need to look at innovative ways to fund the management of existing parks and develop new parks.
What is a Parks Foundation?
Active in the US and UK, Park Foundations are one way to enable residents to collaborate to improve existing parks and create new parks. These independent, non-profit, organisations are set up to support parks across an area, such as a suburb, with time, expertise and privately raised funds. While land remains government property Foundations and Councils work together to evolve greenspaces in an area (Nesta, 2020).
Why could they improve access to quality green space?
Imagine if a Parks Foundation could assist a community to close part of their street to make it into a park, transform underutilised space into a community garden, or improve park maintenance and activation. A Parks Foundation Board incorporates landscape architects, managers, local business owners, and the local community – a powerful mix of skills, expertise and emotional investment focused on improving green space access for their community.
Let’s explore what a Parks Foundation could do for our community.