OPEN SPACE & RECREATION SHADE POLICY

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1 Aim To provide a policy framework for the provision of shade (natural and built) within Council managed or owned parks and open space in order to reduce the incidence of skin cancer/melanoma and other sun related conditions within City of Yarra. The scope of this policy does not include shade within Council child care centres or maternal and child health facilities. Background Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer/melanoma in the world. Skin cancers account for about 80% of all new cancers diagnosed each year in Australia. Australians are 4 times more likely to develop a common skin cancer than any other form of cancer. In those aged years, melanoma is the most common cancer, making up almost a quarter of all cancers for this age group. Young people and children require additional access to shade and UV minimization to prevent later increase in skin damage and melanomas. While outdoor recreation and enjoyment contribute to the general health and wellbeing of the community, UV exposure is a factor which must be considered in the provision of open space and recreation facilities. The open space network within City of Yarra comprises 235 hectares of public open space including established gardens of regional significance, local neighbourhood reserves, playground s, picnic and barbecue areas, sports facilities and reserves, bike paths and trails. Yarra City Council recognises the importance of providing public open space and facilities that encourage people to spend recreation and activity time outside to improve the general health and wellbeing of the community. Therefore, Council wishes to provide facilities that encourage participation in the community that are safe and functional, including the provision of shade/shelter options that may reduce prolonged exposure to UV in parks and open space. Policy Statement Council s long-term preference is for the provision of natural shade options within its parks and considers tree planting as the preferred outcome. Where built shade solutions are required in the short term, they are to be appropriate for the individual space and incorporate environmentally sustainable materials and design. It is unrealistic to provide 100% shade coverage to all open space uses at all times. Shade provision should allow open space users the option to undertake some more sedentary activities in shade and to rest in shade when taking a break from UVexposed activities. The standards set in this policy will therefore act as a guide for shade levels however provision will be on a site-specific basis depending on: site use and client group vulnerability open space type site character Responsible Officer: Manager Recreation & Document Name: Draft Draft and Recreation Shade Policy.DOCX 1

2 site constraints, including the protection of nearby residents interests and surrounding amenity. Special consideration will be given to more vulnerable user-groups such as children in playground settings. Council also recognises the responsibility for users and council tenants to manage exposure times to sun and UV for both themselves and people in their care when using parks and open space facilities. Policy Objectives: Objective 1 - Education and Awareness Promote education in the community and open space users of issues relating to UV, sun exposure and skin cancer. Awareness by open space users of their responsibility for personal sun protection for themselves and other their care whilst using council facilities. Encourage clubs and tenants of council facilities operating in open space to consider and provide shade options and sun minimisation strategies for members and visitors when engaged in club activities. Reinforcement of the Sun Smart message for Yarra parks and open spaces through a coordinated communications effort. Objective 2 - Long-term Planning for Natural Shade Natural (tree shade) is recognised as the preferred provision for shade in open spaces, however it is recognised that tree planting is a long-term solution, which may require some additional interim (constructed) measures. Strategic tree planting will take place in all open spaces over the long term, as a preferred and sustainable shade option, in keeping with the character and planting selection of each space. New tree planting will result in an increase in the area of natural shade in all parks and open spaces. Construction of shade in the short term will be required for some sites through a staged and prioritised capital works program. Where existing natural shade provides adequate options for users (as determined through site analysis) but does not meet minimum coverage additional constructed shade may not be required. Objective 3 - Safety, Accessibility, Sustainability Through the provision of shade solutions, officers must consider equitable access, user safety, and the use of sustainable materials where possible. Accessibility for all members of the community is incorporated in the design process for shade solutions. Responsible Officer: Manager Recreation & Document Name: Draft Draft and Recreation Shade Policy.DOCX 2

3 Safety will be a key consideration in the design process of shade options. Per Planning & Design procedure, Council officers will seek to use environmentally sustainable materials in constructed shade where possible. The principles and recommendations of the Victorian State Government SunSmart and Cancer Council initiatives and relevant Australian Building Standards will be followed in the provision of constructed shade within Yarra. Objective 4 Meet Minimum Standards for Shade Provision Clear guidelines on shade coverage for different uses will guide open space planners and designers in the provision of built and natural shade. The Cancer Council Victoria Sunsmart Shade for everyone a practical guide for shade development 2004 provides guidance on minimum shade provisions. Materials used in constructed shade will provide at least 90% UV absorption Playgrounds smaller than 150m2 will have shade coverage of approximately 75% of play equipment. Playgrounds larger than 150m2 will have shade coverage of approximately 50% of play equipment. Playgrounds will have at least one shaded seating area for surveillance and resting, with 75% shade coverage. All parks will have some shaded BBQ areas, picnic tables, seating and path options appropriate to their scale. Shade coverage is for approximately 11am 3pm during the higher UV months from November to March. Where existing natural shade covers less than the areas specified above, but provides adequate options for that site according to site assessment criteria, additional constructed shade may not be required. Objective5 - Develop a Shade Implementation Plan An Shade Implementation Plan will be developed to apply the minimum standards across all open spaces through a staged capital works program. Open space uses and sites will be systematically audited, assessed, prioritised and incorporated into the capital works new works process and the capital works program for implementation. A suite of constructed shade options including shade sails, shelters and gazebos will be developed to address various site-specific constraints while maintaining a level of consistency across the City. Policy Implementation The following actions have been identified to meet the objectives of the policy. Actions can be implemented within the existing Recreation and Branch resources and are deliverable prior to June Implementation of Action 5.5 is subject to Council allocating funding through the Capital Works Program. Responsible Officer: Manager Recreation & Document Name: Draft Draft and Recreation Shade Policy.DOCX 3

4 Item Actions Responsibility Education and Awareness 1.1 Develop a Council communications plan to promote the Sun Smart message to open space users as well as communication Council action on shade provision. 1.3 Review club/tenants sun smart and UV reduction policies/strategies and facilities/assets, and identify opportunities for improvement Long-term Planning for Natural Shade 2.1 Review existing natural shade provision for key uses as part of shade strategy. 2.2 Prioritise sites for planting of trees to provide for long-term natural shade. 2.3 Implement tree planting through capital works in keeping with the character and planting selection of each space Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability 3.1 Review and summarise SunSmart and Cancer Council initiatives and relevant Australian Building Standards. 3.1 Investigate availability and use of sustainable materials for shade structures on an ongoing basis. 3.2 Conduct safety and accessibility review of shade structure designs and locations prior to construction Meet Minimum Standards for Shade Provision 4.1 Test the standard provisions in this policy according to current shade conditions. 4.2 Communicate standard provisions to be incorporated into the implementation plan and future projects Develop a shade implementation plan Communications & Recreation Recreation & Arboriculture & Arboriculture 5.1 Identify different open space uses and audit all sites for existing shade conditions. 5.2 Analyse audit results to develop a prioritised list of sites requiring additional shade based on minimum standards, usage, client group vulnerability, type of open space, access to facilities, etc. 5.3 Develop a suite of constructed shade designs for typical sites which will act as design guidelines. 5.4 Develop cost estimates for list of shade projects. 5.5 Subject to Council allocating funding, implement Responsible Officer: Manager Recreation & Document Name: Draft Draft and Recreation Shade Policy.DOCX 4

5 the shade plan over the next 10 years, via the capital works program, in accordance with the prioritised sites. The implementation of the policy should be reported on an annual basis. The policy will be reviewed in five years to ensure it continues to meet Council and community needs Related documents SunSmart Shade for everyone A practical guide for shade development The Cancer Council Victoria City of Yarra Minimum Standards for Sports Pavilions SunSmart Sun protection during sport Recommendations. Responsible Officer: Manager Recreation & Document Name: Draft Draft and Recreation Shade Policy.DOCX 5

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