Recreation services, programs and facilities need to be planned. They are part of the infrastructure that is provided by the mixed economy of leisure. A key ingredient to these developments is the impact of how communities are planned.
Urban Planning provides the guidance for how large and small communities should be developed. Related concepts include town planning, city planning, land use planning, statutory planning, regulation of land use and urban governance. Urban planning is defined as “The activity of governance required to make sure all the services people need in a city are provided when and where the need occurs” (Gleeson & Low, 2000, p. 12). To better understand this definition look at the following explanation of key concepts
- Governance – a process of the state making decisions to achieve goals by representing people.
- Services – housing, retail, business, utilities, transport, communication, education, health, public safety, specific population needs, environment, leisure and sport.
- People – those who are present in space, time and culture including those who are not yet born.
- Need – What is it that is required to meet a socially agreed and necessary base level of services & facilities (Gleeson & Low, 2000).
Sport, leisure and recreation planning is a key component of the urban planning framework to help communities to have quality of life. At a local level the term recreation planning is often used.
“recreation planning can be defined as a process through which information, attitudes, values and needs are reviewed and evaluated by and with the community in an on-going fashion in order to identify a range of actions which, if implemented, will achieve a better outcome for the community than would otherwise have been achieved if things had been left to take their natural course.” (Marriott 2013, p.2).
This planning process has four main phases of i) Pre-planning, ii) Research, iii) Plan and iv) Monitor & evaluate the plan. Pre-planning includes three steps in which the recreation planner needs to set the scene to understand how the planning process will be a) governed and what policies will impact on the planning process; b) what is happening externally that will impact on the planning process; and c) the financial implications of the planning process, i.e., what is the budget and how where will the funds to support the recreation planning process come from (Marriott, 2013).
The Research phase includes a range of steps designed to provide the recreation planner with the data to inform decisions about the recreation plan. A combination of a) consulting with the local community, b) reviewing current and future leisure participation trends, c) understanding the local community demographics, d) drawing on previous studies that may relate to recreation, e.g., transport or health plans, e) having an inventory of current recreation, sport, tourism and related assets, and f) drawing on relevant participation studies acts as the data to help the recreation planner make informed decisions about what needs to be addressed in the recreation plan (Marriott, 2013). The level of detail in the research phase is often related to the size of the budget to support the recreation planning process. The greater the funds the better the detail and breadth of data that can be used to inform the actual recreation plan. Marriott (2013) indicates that there is no prescribed order to what needs to be included in the research phase but it is important to be as thorough as possible when doing the research.
The Plan is the third phase of the recreation planning process. The plan needs to draw on the policy and external context from the pre-planning phase and all the data from the research phase. This step entails writing the recreation planning document. Recreation plans often include a mission, development principles, objectives and goals of the organization as well as specific recommendations for sport, recreation, leisure and tourism facilities, programs and services (Marriott, 2013).
The last phase of the recreation planning process is based on evaluating the outputs, e.g., changes in community sport participation; and outcomes, e.g., changes in quality of life such as better health. The combination of the four steps in Marriott’s (2013) Recreation Planning Model provide important guidelines for how to do recreation planning and what needs to be included in the recreation plan.
What makes people to do things that fit into the extreme category. Why do people:
Jump from high places with only rubber bands connected to their ankles?
Jump from high places with just a tiny parachute?
Fly with just a simple suit to keep them somewhat aloft?
Dive in natural environments?
Surf big waves?
Climb, run and jump in challenging places?
Ski beyond the Black Diamond slopes?
Play tennis in the air?
Climb higher than everyone else?