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Recreation planning

Queenslanders are increasingly recognising the benefits to their quality of life from participating in recreation and sport.

As our population increases and recreation and sport interests become more diverse, people are seeking a wider range of recreation and sport facilities and outdoor recreation opportunities. Larger areas are often needed to satisfy these demands. Increasing populations, changing technology, social expectations and expanding economic activities all contribute to increasing competition for the available land.

Knowledge of trends, tastes, needs and preferences of the community with regard to sport and recreation is required in order to provide these communities with the widest range of appropriate, sustainable, quality opportunities in which they can participate, both now and in the future.

Recreation planning involves collecting and analysing information, to make sure the right facilities and venues for recreation and sport are developed and that the right places are protected to meet our future recreation needs.

Successful planning for recreation and sport is based on consideration of current and future demand, existing options for meeting those demands, the nature of spaces required for particular activities, and the types of services that support particular activities.

The Queensland Government works with local governments and other organisations to make sure Queensland's recreation needs are met into the future.

The Government works with local governments by:

  • providing advice on recreation, sport and open space plans, and facility needs studies
  • participating in the planning scheme process and providing comments on the recreation and sport components of local government planning schemes (town plans).

Get involved

There is more attention being paid to how our communities are planned and designed to enable people to access places for recreation. This includes the development of walkways and cyclepaths. In rural areas, it may also include horse trails. These linkages encourage people to move about in the community which fosters a sense of social connectedness and gives a sense of community - all while people get out and about and exercise!

By being involved in planning processes, you can make suggestions for changes to improve access to parks and other open spaces, shopping centres, schools, places of employment, transport and community centres.

The community can also participate in both the recreation planning and the planning scheme processes. Notices usually appear in the newspaper or newsletters may be used to invite participation.

What information do planners use?

Planners study a range of information including:

  • demographics
  • recreation needs
  • recreation settings
  • recreation opportunities
  • supply and demand for recreation facilities
  • recreation programs
  • participation rates in recreation activities
  • people's views on recreation issues
  • the impact of recreation on the environment
  • issues affecting user groups and land management agencies.

Successful planning for recreation and sport is based on consideration of current and future demand, existing options for meeting those demands, the nature of spaces required for particular activities and the types of services that support particular activities.

Facility planning is part of the recreation planning process. It helps local governments and organisations to make decisions about what facilities they need and where they should build them, based on supply and demand.

Planning Principles and Implementation notes - Open space for Sport and Recreation

The Queensland Government recognises the importance of proper planning for sport and recreation facilities and activities to contribute to building and sustaining healthy, active communities.

Open Space for Sport and Recreation - Planning Principles and Implementation Notes for Local Government (PDF, 2.13MB) has been developed for local governments to provide specific guidance on how to consider sport and recreation in the land use planning context.

Local governments can use this publication to assist in the planning scheme and corporate planning process, and to guide the development of associated planning instruments and plans.

Issues covered in the publication include providing a diverse range of sport and recreation settings, recreation and sport in rural areas, non-motorised recreation trail networks and open space standards/ park planning performance criteria. Implementation measures for each issue are suggested with examples provided.

The publication also includes a range of case studies on topics such as multiple uses of open space, waterways and riparian corridors, cross boundary strategic planning, facility location/co-location of facilities and redevelopment of land.

The publication also includes a range of case studies on topics such as multiple uses of open space, waterways and riparian corridors, cross boundary strategic planning, facility location/co-location of facilities and redevelopment of land. Note this publication is currently being revised. For further details contact 3338 9208.

Planning for shooting and motor sport facilities

Planning for shooting and motor sport facilities aims to inform effective planning to enable participants to enjoy shooting sports and motor sports without undesirable impacts on neighbouring communities. The resource is intended to assist with the drafting of new or amended planning instruments and to inform consideration of development applications for either:

  • shooting or motor sport facilities, or
  • sensitive developments near existing or approved shooting or motor sport facilities.

Download a copy of Planning for shooting and motor sport facilities (PDF, 318K) 

Recreation planning is a people-oriented process that brings together information about the rational allocation of recreation and sport resources to meet the present and future requirements of people at state, regional and local level.

Daly J, 1995, Recreation and Sport Planning and Design, A Guidelines Manual

Last updated
15 July 2014