Source: Ben Williams for City of Canada Bay

Creating an active living community resource

City of Canada Bay

Social infrastructure strategies for open spaces and community facilities in Canada Bay

The Canada Bay local government area is growing and becoming increasingly socially and culturally diverse – an additional 32,000 people will live in the area by 2036. Determining how these people will have access to social infrastructure such as community facilities and programs, open spaces and recreations facilities will be key to supporting them to continue to have a high quality of life, health and happiness.

In 2019, Cred was engaged by City of Canada Bay Council to prepare two social infrastructure strategies to guide Council’s future planning, and to inform the preparation of their Local Strategic Planning Statement.

Concord Community Garden, Canada Bay.

How we did it

On the ground research, including a visual audit of all facilities, on-site observation of the activities occurring at facilities, as well as the surrounding place context to better understand how the facilities contribute to the character of the area and opportunities for greater utilisation and activation of both the facility and also the public spaces around it.

Both strategies include a review of current provision, forecast demand, and an analysis of locally relevant planning benchmarks. Our approach included:

  • Supply and demand analysis of provision, accessibility, quality, capacity, and best practice.
  • Extensive community engagement through surveys, workshops and meetings to understand local, district and regional needs and explore partnership opportunities for future funding, delivery and management.
  • Preparation of maps for inclusion in the City of Canada Bay’s Local Strategic Planning Statement.


Cred showed that there was an inequitable spread of community facility floor space and open space provision across the local government area, with areas of high forecast growth and density often experiencing the most limited access. We also found that there was unmet demand for social infrastructure, and limited available funding to address this exacerbated by very high land values making acquisition and renewal cost prohibitive.

Our findings also showed that recreation participation is changing – more focus needs to be given to informal rather than formal recreation participation.

The outcome

Our work resulted in two implementable Strategy and Action Plans:


We know that open spaces and high quality public domain areas where people can meet, stay and connect are fundamental to the creation of great people-focused places and sustainable communities.

The Open Space and Recreation Strategy will position Council to pursue collaborative partnerships with other levels of government and other key stakeholders and identifies delivery models/ implementation options for the delivery of open space and recreation facilities.

Cred delivered this Strategy as project lead in collaboration with People Place and Partnership (stakeholder engagement) and GLN Planning.

  • Social Infrastructure (Community) Strategy and Action Plan provides a future plan for community and cultural facilities including community centres, libraries, arts and cultural spaces, schools, early education and care, health facilities, and meeting rooms, as well as the services and programs that activate these facilities.


The Strategy will position Council to pursue collaborative partnerships with other levels of government and other key stakeholders and identifies delivery models/implementation options for the delivery of social infrastructure

This work will also provide an overarching framework and strategic direction for social infrastructure for the next 20 years. When activated, the strategies will improve the health and wellbeing for Canada Bay’s residents and support inclusive, connected, and resilient communities.

Off-leash dog parks are well-used by the local community.