Dogs and Urban Planning

The Planning Institute of Australia’s (SA Division) latest E-News mentions  the release of the publication “Unleashed:  a guide to successful dog parks” which Balancing Act Adelaide prepared for the Dog and Cat Management Board of South Australia.

The Immediate Past President (SA) Dr Iris Iwanicki has personally written the foreword, praising the guide’s emphasis on both human and canine needs and behaviour.

This new resource is to support councils and planners in the planning, design and management of effective off-leash parks. It makes the point that we need to link dog behaviour (i.e. dog-dog and dog-human interactions) to the planning and design process.

If we consider dog behaviour in the early stages we can minimize some of the risks, and if we don’t we may only serve to exacerbate conflict “hot spots” in the park.

Iris Iwanicki says the guide also complements planning initiatives such as Streets for People and Healthy by Design and the Planning Institute of Australia’s national guide Healthy Places, Healthy Spaces

The next step is to develop a framework that identifies the various ways that dogs are a part of the urban fabric ranging from rental accommodation, public open space, aged care to medium-high density living. A framework that considers both dog and human needs and dog behaviour.

These same principles outlined in “Unleashed: a guide to successful dog parks” can be adapted to this broader environment. We hear so much about “pet friendly” but there is no practical framework that shows us how to consider it at the local level.

If you are  a local council that needs fresh ideas and guidance in reviewing your animal management plan and/or open space plan please contact Fiona De Rosa on 0431 863 357.

Fiona is an urban planner and a dog behaviourist/trainer who has the expertise to integrate both dog and human needs, and experience in local government.