Where the future of any larger spaces used for activities such as golf courses are uncertain, due to declining membership and attendance figures, any land or facilities in public ownership should be retained as open space and transitioned to shared open space and facilities, including for organised sports. For land in private ownership, there may be opportunities for part of the land to be repurposed or set aside for open or shared spaces. Open space within school grounds is a potential asset that could be shared by the wider community outside of school hours.
Other opportunities to create greater recreational capacity across the District include non-traditional methods such as rooftop gardens and recreational areas; shared use of open spaces currently inaccessible due to private use or being enclosed; and innovative approaches to planning for and using pocket parks.
The District’s waterways provide opportunities for passive and active open space. For example, Prospect Reservoir has the potential to become a valuable recreational location. It is a magnificent 520-hectare water body with an adjacent nature reserve around its northern perimeter and the Western Sydney Parklands nearby. There could be opportunities to enhance and activate the recreational areas along the waterfront and integrate the Reservoir into the wider Western Sydney Parklands tourism precinct.
Protecting and enhancing existing access to natural landscapes, parks and sportsgrounds can encourage more active lifestyles. Liveability outcomes will also be enhanced with greater sharing of sports and community facilities across the District.
The Government Architect NSW is developing an open space toolkit, a resource for councils to use for open space planning.