Yardstick Parks Update 2019

It's been a busy and productive year for the Yardstick benchmarking programme. Parks benchmarking was completed earlier this year with the addition of several new and returning members. New and returning members are welcome for the 2020 project year.

Parks user surveys have been ongoing during the year in Denmark and Australia and are kicking off around New Zealand now that the weather is improving and more people are out using parks. There is still time to join the 2020 parks survey project and make the most of the whole of 2020 to collect intercept or online surveys. There is no better way to measure the value of your parks to your community than with a survey that targets parks users.

We have also been working on a new user survey for Trails users. This is currently in use in Australia and will be available to New Zealand members in 2020.

For 2020, Yardstick members will notice some changes to the members section of the website with a complete refresh of the look and feel of survey forms and reports. We are also introducing an interactive members dashboard that will display key indicators and can easily be shared with colleagues. This will make it much easier to view, share and use key results.

Some of the key median provision findings from the 2019 Parks Benchmarks report:

  • Actively maintained park land (excluding natural areas) is currently sitting around 9.4 hectares per 1,000 residents. This is a slight increase over the last five years.
  • Grass sports fields has remained fairly steady at around 1 hectare per 1,000 residents.
  • Playground provision is fairly steady at around 4 playgrounds per 1,000 children.
  • Path and trail provision is also steady at just over 1 kilometre per 1,000 residents.

These results suggest that overall levels of provision are just keeping pace with population growth. However, street trees and total parks and green space are showing declining median rates of provision.

The key message is that to be able to confidently provide for the needs of current and future communities, you need to know what level of service you are currently providing, to be able to compare this against an industry standard, and to have a strategy for future changes in demand. Benchmarking is the key to being able to achieve this.

For more information or contact us at www.yardstickglobal.org

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