chapter  7
Outdoor recreation in urban areas
Pages 40

Most of the population of industrialised nations live in urban areas. Human beings are overwhelmingly social creatures and, as such, prefer to live together in communities created to serve individual and collective human needs. These communities can be of varying size and characteristics, but they have one feature in common – the potential to offer a wide range of functions to satisfy the needs of the population. In the UK context, Williams (1995) suggests that the development of recreational opportunities and services moved through three phases (see Table 7.1). He then goes on to point out that ‘a great deal of recreation provision in urban areas, particularly public open space, reflects historic accident and/or municipal intervention’ (p. 21). Internal reserves (or pocket parks) in Melbourne are a good case in point (see Box 7.1).