Parks and open spaces are a public resource that improves people's health giving peace and tranquillity, family time, exercise, sport and a healthy outdoor lifestyle. They are venues for community sporting activities and places to meet and celebrate with family and friends. Parks can also protect cultural and heritage sites that reflect the history of the area. Large local and regional parks play a role in keeping air and water clean and as refuges for threatened species and buffers against the effects of climate change.
In 2009, Christchurch had just under 11,000 hectares of public open space, or around 25 hectares per 1,000 residents, ranging from small neighbourhood parks to large regional parks on the urban fringe and Banks Peninsula. These parks are reasonably equitably distributed across the city, with one study finding that access to recreational facilities-although not necessarily the amenity value of those facilities-was actually better in disadvantaged areas. Not all population groups' needs may be being met as another Christchurch study found that older adults' recreational needs were not well catered-for, especially in disadvantaged areas.
Read the full issue summary for open and green spaces [PDF] - updated September 2016.