At the start of the week, Astrolabe Director Michael Comninos shared his thoughts on the importance of increasing public access to green space in our cities with the Sunday Telegraph, suggesting that spaces like golf courses could be better leveraged to do more for the community. After sharing this on LinkedIn, Michael has engaged in some rich conversation across the public, private and university sectors. We’ve captured highlights from the thread below.
To increase the public utilisation of golf courses, several ideas were suggested:
This thread also broadened the discussion to other existing spaces in our cities and suburbs, which could enable cost effective creation of green space in built-up suburbs and enhance community enjoyment of their local neighbourhood:
One example offered in the thread was the new Draft Land Management Plan for Caulfield Racecourse Reserve in Melbourne. The vision of the Plan is to create a place for everyone through a new sports hub, easier access to open spaces, a running/cycling/walking trail, and improved biodiversity and environmental outcomes – all while protecting and enhancing Caulfield as an events destination of state significance.
What was clear from the conversation is that people are ready to test and pilot new ideas for urban open spaces. We’d love to hear about demonstration and pilot projects for golf courses and other open spaces in cities around the world, and what we could learn for getting demonstration projects started in Australian cities.
COVID-19 disruption has brought the importance of quality public spaces in our neighbourhoods into stark relief. The time is now to ask questions of how open spaces are used and managed – what they need to do to be fit for purpose now, and their role in the future of urban living.
Michael Comninos is Astrolabe's founder and director. He has over fifteen years of experience developing and implementing strategy, policy and regulatory reform in planning and infrastructure.