Greenspaces are an essential part of every city, needing long term protection and care. These places sustain our health and well-being, allow us to play and relax, enable learning about nature as well as moderate climate extremes in densely settled areas. Over the past decades Gecko Environment Council has advocated for the protection and increase of public open space for recreational and conservation areas.
The world standard for providing green spaces is 4 ha per 1000 people, but Gold Coast has adopted just 3.2 ha per 1000 people, despite the ever increasing density of our suburbs. Greenspaces, or parklands, are very well used in the City, but they are frequently threatened with inappropriate development proposals. These include: selling them off to private enterprise; allowing use by private businesses such as restaurants; expansions of club houses; cruise terminals; car parks and residential or commercial development.
Public Open Space Overview
The Covid 19 pandemic has raised public awareness of the importance of green public space in our cities for the health and welfare of residents.
In addition to parklands, tree cover is important for the health of the city and in mitigating climate change.
Some cities have an urban forest policy, and it is time that the Gold Coast City adopted one too.
Brisbane City Council states that the benefits of trees are:-
- provides shade and cooling, encouraging a healthy outdoor lifestyle
- helps reduce energy consumption (by buffering the urban heat island effect)
- provides the natural structure of Brisbane’s subtropical character and scenic amenity
- produces oxygen and consumes carbon dioxide, trapping carbon and helping to reduce greenhouse gases
- supports habitat and food for wildlife
- helps reduce dust, pollution, wind speeds and the effects of UV radiation
- helps manage stormwater run-off and soil erosion
- provides strong links to nature, our natural and cultural history and sense of local identity
- contributes to individual property values, tourism and vitality of business centres.
Gecko’s Goal for Public Open Space – to advocate for the protection and increase of public open space and its vegetation for the health and well-being of the growing population.