FIT for the purpose? Open space planning standards in Britain

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Journal Article
Journal of Policy Research, 2012, 4 (3), pp. 375 - 379
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Open space is often neglected in academic discussion of leisure policy, yet local authorities in England are responsible for 94,000 ha of formal parks, 4400 ha of equipped playgrounds and 285,000 ha of other public open space, involving a net annual expenditure £750m, which is greater than the expenditure on, for example, indoor sport and sport development (£630m) (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy [CIPFA], 2009). Furthermore, visiting parks is arguably the most popular of publicly facilitated leisure activities after the use of public broadcasting (Veal, 2006) and with continued urban renewal, and population growth in England and Wales of a million every 4 years (Office for National Statistics, 2008), the provision of open space, as a component of new urban infrastructure, remains a significant public policy issue.
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