8 Resources on Open Space Development

BLOG POST | Jun 9, 2015

This past weekend I visited a park and spent the day canoeing, swimming, and walking.  This got me thinking about how urban areas across the country are promoting recreation by designating open space areas. Open spaces are undeveloped zones within a municipality that the public can access.  These spaces include:

  • Green space (land that is partly or completely covered with grass, trees, shrubs, or other vegetation)
  • Schoolyards
  • Playgrounds
  • Public seating areas
  • Public plazas
  • Vacant lots.

After researching open spaces, I found some great resources you could use when developing open spaces in your community.

  1. As communities grow and develop, they may sprawl into previously open areas.  This Governing article describes how when communities begin development around military bases, open spaces can help ease some of the development conflicts.
  2. Read how this international fellow learned about the benefits of open spaces in Albany, Oregon.
  3. This PM Magazine article from 2010 covers the multiple benefits of open spaces.
  4. The ICMA Center for Management Strategies writes how Scottsdale, Arizona, is using open spaces to help attract and retain citizens.
  5. This blog post discusses the importance of trees when planning an open space initiative.
  6. The American Public Works Association details how the community of Foster City, California, is able to reap the benefits of an open space while preserving water use.
  7. The EPA offers a best practice guide for designing open spaces.
  8. PM Magazine discusses why communities should look into redeveloping some of their older open spaces

How have open spaces impacted your community?  What are some cost-efficient strategies to develop and promote these open spaces? Please share your comments below.

Douglas Shontz

Knowledge Network Intern


ICMA Blog


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