Conference paper
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ABSTRACT: A city is a place where buildings and open space fit together as a harmonious whole, each distinct to itself but both forming part of a family unit. Urban public open spaces are highly valued for their contribution to the quality of life in cities (Tenkel 1963, Burgess, Harrison, and Limb 1988, Madanipour 1999). Historically, public open spaces have been classified into 3 types, each of which address community needs in different ways; active open space, such as playgrounds and sporting fields; passive open space, such as parks and green areas; and urban buffers such as conservation areas. The aim of this paper is to examine if the percentage of open space in older suburbs has changed over time due to residential infill development, how the supply of open space in older suburbs compares with new suburbs. The method adopted for this research was a comparative analysis of old and new suburbs selected to undertake the research. The study found that incremental redevelopment of old suburbs through both resubdivision and intensification of development on existing allotments has resulted in a progressive loss of open space. However the study also confirmed that the current supplies of open space across all the study areas (old and new suburbs) are relatively similar. The main difference between the open space supply in older and newer suburbs is the ownership of the land (i.e. proportion of public versus private open space). The study demonstrated that older suburbs with large allotments have experienced a significant loss of private open space – down from around 50% originally to current levels of 23-30%. The paper concludes that there is a need for a holistic approach to the provision of public and private open spaces to improve the quality of life at a residential level.

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