The Australian Park Life Survey
The Australian Park Life Survey
Current Australian planning standards lack the knowledge of urban residents' preferences for parks, and how they use them. Additionally, few research studies measure the exact parks people use, even though “use” is often hypothesised in the access–health relationships being tested. The Australian Park Life Survey has captured the community use of parks and public open spaces across Australia.

With funding from a AURIN High Impact Project, we are developing a new standardised national spatial dataset of parks and public open spaces and a community survey of park use across Australia’s Capital Cities: Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin, and Hobart.

Mapped parks
How it works
Information gathering
Participants will use the Park Life mapping survey to identify the park (or parks) they use regularly.

We will also capture information on how they use these spaces including the activities undertaken in the park, the motivations for use of that park, frequency of visitation, duration of use/visit, who they visit the park with, mode of travel to the park and usual origin of their journey to the park.

Building on our expertise of creating public health surveys, the Australian Park Life survey will also capture information on the participants’ physical, social, emotional and mental health, so we can explore the health benefits associated with using parks and outdoor open spaces, and the role parks have played during the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown and social distancing restrictions.

Additional questions will also included to explore community interest and perceived benefits of having different “smart” technology installed in their local parks, and investigate community preferences for different climate and water sensitive park designs.

The results of the Australian Park Life Project will improve our understanding of the role of parks in urban areas.

The data will also provide important data on community preferences and health impacts to consider when developing future open space policies in order to optimally plan for resilient and healthy places and spaces that also meet community needs. This had the potential to impact real on-ground outcomes that will positively impact communities across Australia.

Key People
A/Prof Paula Hooper, Nutrition & Health Innovation Research Institute
Lead Investigator
Dr Nicole Edwards, AUDRC, UWA
Dr Julian Bolleter, AUDRC, UWA
Dr Sarah Foster, RMIT
Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network
Project Funder


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