Parke as ruimtelike, sosiaal-ekologiese bate in die Bellville Munisipale gebied

Walters, Colette (2005-04)

Thesis (MA (Geography and Environmental Studies))--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.


The pressure of urbanisation causes an increasing decline in public open space. The intrinsic potential of a system of public open spaces to create a city where inhabitants’ living, working and recreational environments are enhanced is often undervalued. Irrespective of the pressure of urbanisation and the amount of land currently being earmarked for open spaces, there is a growing need for more open spaces in the urban areas of South Africa. It is important to gauge the scope of open spaces in order to monitor their development. This thesis investigates the usefulness of parks in the Bellville municipal area to its inhabitants. This study identified existing parks in Bellville. Open spaces in Bellville make up 15,3% of the total area and since 1996 1,1% of the open space in Bellville has been lost to development. Parks are distributed unevenly throughout the municipal area with the eastern area having the bulk of the open space area percentage and the southern area the smallest proportion. As a result of field studies conducted in Bellville, conforming to guidelines specified by a preceding literature study, a classification system was developed on the basis of area, function and the level of upkeep. Four park types were identified by the classification process, namely neighbourhood, ecological, aesthetical and recreational parks. Following the classification of open spaces the study focuses on the neighbourhood park to gauge the needs of and utilisation by inhabitants. The neighbourhood park was selected as study focus owing to the heterogeneous appearance of this park type and because it is the most common type found (84,5% of all parks) in Bellville. Subclassification into eight subclasses guarantees homogeneous park classes. The presence of recreational structures forms the basis for the classification of neighbourhood parks. Upkeep of neighbourhood parks occurs frequently and approximately 60% of the neighbourhood parks have recreational structures. A stratified random sample selected one park out of each of the eight subclasses for case study. In each case study a simple random sample of park users was made. The population is defined as all households in a 300m radius of the park. Questionnaires were distributed to the selected households. Irrespective of their busy schedules during the week, the inhabitants still have ample free time over weekends. Free time is generally spent at home though a significant percentage of inhabitants take excursions to enjoy walks in nature. Children and pensioners most frequently make use of parks. Parks are generally visited on a weekly basis. Neighbourhood parks are visited over weekends for walks and for use as playgrounds. Most of the inhabitants are satisfied with the appearance of the neighbourhood parks, though they feel security at the parks is insufficient and parks are inadequate for the playing needs of children. Awareness of parks forms an integral part in park use. Being unaware of parks or having to travel far have a significant effect on non-usage of parks. In order to encourage park use it is essential to create multifunctional parks catering to the inhabitants’ varying needs and utilisation of parks. Single functional parks can be transformed into multifunctional parks by adding additional attractions thereby addressing inhabitants’ needs and extending the existing function of the park. Effective management of parks is essential in preserving them as continuing assets in the Bellville municipal area.

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