Validating and measuring public open space is not a walk in the park

Mark Daker, Johannes Pieters, Neil COFFEE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the widespread application of public open space (POS) in urban planning and health research, defining POS and the subsequent measurement remains an issue. Coupled with the issue of definition is the choice of data set, as the data accuracy can influence the research results. The interpretation of an analysis depends on the intended outcome and the data definition and accuracy. This research used GIS and aerial imagery to develop a validated public open space (VPOS) data set for Metropolitan Adelaide and tested this against two publicly available POS data sets, the MapInfo© StreetPro Park data and Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Meshblock. The 4 ha of open space per 1000 population standard was calculated for three administrative spatial units (local government areas, postcodes and suburbs). The number of spatial units that met or did not meet the standard was calculated and the VPOS data were taken as the data standard.

For local governments areas most met the standard. For the postcodes and suburbs, the ABS Meshblock under reported and the Parks data over reported. The results varied depending on the spatial unit and choice of data and this demonstrated the importance of the choice of spatial data set and spatial unit
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Planner
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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