Life without your pet

Pet Friendly Planning. Does it exist in Australia?
Companion animals are a part of our lives. Yet, public policy (urban planning) tends to give little consideration to this area.

In the publication ‘Unleashed – a guide to successful dog parks’ we start to explore the topic of how to integrate companion animals (dogs) into urban environments, particularly in public open space. This publication was written for the Dog and Cat Management Board of SA by Balancing Act Adelaide (Fiona De Rosa in association with Kylie Fergusen).

Pet ownership rates in Australia are among the highest in the world, and with smaller backyards and shift to more compact living, pet ownership is driving a need to better plan for dogs in cities. Public parks are more important than ever because they have to meet the needs of city dwellers including those with pets.

UNLEASHED challenges the way we plan and design spaces for both humans and dogs. Current practices are predominately from a human perspective, focusing on human interactions. Exchanges in a dog park are more complex including:

  • Dog-Dog
  • Dog-Human
  • Human-Human interactions.

The publication advocates for a more inclusive approach, where both dog and human needs are integrated, and dog behaviour is linked to planning and design processes.

It is a first of its kind in South Australia combining planning, urban design and dog behaviour into one comprehensive document. It’s a practical and user-friendly tool to guide a range of professionals.The publication sets the direction and best practice techniques for dog parks in South Australia.

Balancing Act Adelaide received the Planning Institute of Australia (SA) Award for Planning Excellence, 2014 for Cutting Edge Research and Teaching for the publication ‘Unleashed’ and associated research.

Download a copy of Unleashed A Guide to Successful Dog Parks‘.

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