The Ballarat Open Space Strategy (BOSS) was adopted by Council in April 2008 after 16 months of extensive research, workshops, surveys, submissions and community consultation..
Ballarat's diverse open space network of more than 250 parks, sportsgrounds, lakes, linear reserves, urban spaces and conservation parklands provides a range of benefits for the community including; using a playground, walking and cycling, playing sports, environmental protection and providing for healthy connected communities. The Ballarat Open Space Strategy considers these broad community values and needs and will guide the future provision, development and management of open space in the municipality until 2025.
The Ballarat Open Space Strategy includes many strategic directions and recommendations for improving Ballarat's Open Space to achieve the Strategies vision of:
"Providing a sustainable network of accessible open space which supports the recreational, environmental, social and health needs of the community and connects Ballarat to its past present and future".
The BOSS does not make specific recommendations for 'individual' pieces of open space but alternatively assesses the major generic issues affecting the provision, development, management and use of Ballarat's open space. It recommends major policy and strategic directions for the future of the open space network.
Some of the Key Strategic Directions of the BOSS include:
Categorising open space areas according to their hierarchy and function.
Mapping to identify of parts of the City that do not have sufficient and safe access to 'Recreational' open space.
Providing minimum size parks within maximum accessible walking distances from residential areas and with standardised development levels according to their category.
Recommendations for increased open space developer contributions in some major growth areas of the City.
Recommendations for better linkages and connections of open spaces to improve access and promote community health and wellbeing.
Prioritising the development, review and implementation of master plans for major open space areas such as the Lakes, Botanical Gardens, sports grounds, linear reserves and key urban open spaces.
Recognition of the value of partnerships to collectively manage a range of open space areas the municipality.
Encouraging biodiversity and the retention of areas of natural vegetation and cultural significance within the open space network.
Rationalising irrigation use in open space management and developing a landscape and planting vision aimed at responding to the impact of climate change.