A NSW Government website

Open space

Public open space is the infrastructure that is essential for our communities.

Open space is the foundation of liveable communities. Public open space is infrastructure that is essential for communities and creating great places to live. It encompasses parks, natural areas and linkages, waterways and foreshores, informal parklands, sports grounds and courts, playspaces, historical sites, and recreation trails for walking and cycling. It is found in every part of NSW — from remote regional towns to new greenfield suburbs, and long-established urban centres. Well-connected open space plays a crucial ecological, economic, social and cultural role in our lives.

The department is delivering a range of open space projects across NSW, including new and improved parks across Greater Sydney through the Parks for People program, places to swim and get adventurous in nature supported by the Open Spaces Program, as well as over 140 inclusive playspaces influenced by the Everyone Can Play program, delivered in partnership with councils.

People with access to public open space are healthier and happier than those without. For many people living without access to a backyard, the open spaces in our communities are vital to maintain physical and mental health.

Public Open Space Strategy for NSW

The Public Open Space Strategy for NSW (PDF, 14.3 MB) is a major step to deliver more and better public open space that the community can access, use, enjoy and belong to. It sets out a collaborative, coordinated and evidence-based approach for government agencies to plan, invest and deliver public open space – resulting in more effective and efficient outcomes.

Read the strategy

Play equipment at the upgraded Carrawood Park, Carramar. Credit: NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Parks for People sets a new benchmark for high-quality public open space in our communities.

Mum holding daughter on Tathra Flying Fox

Everyone Can Play is a best practice resource for councils, community leaders, landscape architects and passionate local residents to create more inclusive play spaces.

Bayview Baths. Credit: City of Canada Bay

We're helping deliver new and improved public open spaces to swim, play, roam, ride and connect with nature across NSW.

Kids playing soccer on synthetic turf, Petersham Park. Credit: NSW Department of Planning and Environment

We are working closely with councils, industry and government agencies to create guidelines to help make decisions on the use of synthetic turf.

Walking along Blackwattle Bay Park, Glebe, Sydney. Credit: NSW Department of Planning and Environment / Salty Dingo

We're using findings from the Greater Sydney Outdoors Study to provide more of the types of public spaces Sydneysiders want.

Small group enjoying a cycle around Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo. Credit: Destination NSW

The NSW Regional Outdoor Survey provides information on what regional communities love and want in the great outdoors.

Find out more by contacting our team at [email protected]