Suva is the capital of Fiji and is a harbour city built on a peninsula reaching out into the sea. Suva is the commercial and political centre of Fiji and the largest urban area in the South Pacific outside of Australia and New Zealand. It is Fiji’s main port city and has a mix of modern buildings and traditional colonial architecture. Five Special Administrators, appointed by the Minister for Local Government, govern Suva City Council.
Asset management - parks
Suva City Council (and Port Vila Municipal Council) are embarking on city wide parks and community facilities planning.
The process of preparing a city wide parks, and community facilities network plan, provides an opportunity to consider a range of issues and opportunities such as do we have enough play space where the greatest number of children and youth live, do we have the right mix of playground equipment at a park, how far should people have to go to reach the nearest park?
When preparing a citywide open space and community facilities network plan, keep the following in mind:
- Good planning takes time and should be an iterative process of:
- Get a good understanding of current parks and facilities, their current condition and functionality, and their potential for change;
- Understand likely future development of the city and what demands that will generate for open space and community facilities;
- Generate ideas for how the current network might change in the future, including different scenarios or options;
- Test ideas through:
- Engagement with as wide a range of stakeholders as possible;
- Initial assessment of deliverability and affordability;
- Refine ideas and repeat the testing.
- Local knowledge is critical to help generate and test ideas that are grounded in the character of your city, the local environment and people;
- Good external support will help to generate and test ideas that are creative and forward thinking and push the boundaries of what is possible, and to produce plans, images, descriptions etc to clearly articulate the ideas;
- There is no need to wait for a network plan to be completed before any investment in improvements are made – there is simply a need for careful consideration of early investments to ensure as far as possible that they are likely to remain fixed elements in any future open space and community facilities network.
Careful consideration of how safety and security is achieved in the future open space and community facilities planning is important. In the New Zealand context, design principles such as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is the preferred approach to ensuring public space is safe and secure for users.