Urban planning and design has traditionally focused on the human need. However, a new urban resident is emerging – man’s and women’s best friend, which we need to accommodate.
With the rate of pet ownership being one of the highest in the world with almost 36% of Australian households owning a dog (Australian Companion Animal Council, 2010) and the push for more medium to high density living and loss of the big Aussie backyard will undoubtedly place pressure on public outdoor spaces.
In South Australia, some councils are responding to this pressure by developing enclosed dog parks. Dog parks are seen as a place where dogs can exercise off-leash, socialise with each other, and for dog owners to get together.
Most dog parks evolve around a simple concept: find some open space, fence it in, erect seating, water fountains, bins and supply doggy bags and then let the dogs run round. All too often I hear “it’s only a dog park … what’s the big deal”! In fact, there are a multitude of issues to consider in developing an effective enclosed dog park such as:
- dog park location
- park size and shape
- circulation paths
- drainage and surfaces that withstand high activity and wear and tear
- animal behaviour and impact on park design.
Dog parks are not just for people—they are for pets, too!
For more information on developing and reviewing dog parks please contact us on 0431 863 357.
References and Links
Australian Companion Animal Council, 2010
Wynns, K. Video: “A Beautiful Day at the Dog Park.” youtube