The Adelaide parklands are an integral part of our city. Surrounding the city of Adelaide with a sea of green, the parklands have appropriately been called "the lungs of the city". They are also where you can find many free things to do.
The green space surrounding Adelaide was an important element of city planner Colonel William Light's design. It is now one of only six South Australian places that have been awarded a national heritage listing. The design of the Adelaide parklands were a major influence on the Garden City planning movement worldwide.
Slaughter House in Bonython Park 1914 (State Library SA B-260)
However even in the early history of the city not everyone saw the parklands as needing preservation. They were frequently used for dumping rubbish, grazing livestock, and there was a slaughter house in Bonython Park near the old Adelaide Gaol for years. There was frequent crime on the parklands with public nudity in the River Torrens being frowned on.
Digging trenches in the South Parklands During World War 2 (State Library SA B-62413-7)
During both world wars the parklands were also important. In World War 1 army exercises were held there, while World War 2 saw tunnels and air raid shelters being constructed for civil defence.
Nowadays the parklands are important for free things to do including sport and recreation. Huge crowds flock to the new Adelaide Oval to watch football and cricket, while the south parklands host sports activities including soccer, netball, bowls, blokarting, croquet and petanque.
Flying a Quadcopter in Veale Gardens, South parklands
Bonython Park is possibly second only to Elder Park in popularity for recreation and sport. An awesome playground and activity hub offer free things to do and pull in punters every day of the week, while the serene space of the Bonython Park billabong is pleasant for a picnic. Bonython Park also proved a great location for a Fork on the Road food truck festival.
Adelaide Does Not Need an Office Tower in the Festival Centre Plaza
Needy politicians and jaded journalists sometimes claim that the Adelaide parklands are under utilised. It's a tired tirade that is usually accompanied by a pusillanimous plan to develop the parklands. The most recent example is Jay Weatherill's proposal to give $180m of taxpayers funds to an interstate developer to build an office tower on the Festival Centre plaza. Fortunately Greens MP, Mark Parnell, has launched a competition to find a much better idea.
The Square Mile Music festival in the South Parklands
The City of Adelaide are always looking for ways to make the Adelaide parklands more attractive and encourage more people to use them. They spend millions of dollars every year to maintain and develop the parklands - and now they need your help.
The Adelaide City Council wants to know how you would like the Adelaide parklands to look. Do you have ideas on how to make them more relevant and attractive? Would you like to see more free things to do like nature play activities for kids catered for in the parklands?
You can suggest an idea for improving the parklands, or browse the suggestions that other people have made. Comment, like (or dislike) the proposals that are online, or you can even call one of the parklands planners for a chat.
Unfortunately you're out of luck if you want to comment about the proposal for a six lane highway through Rymill Park, as that is a state government decision - and John Rau is not known for his listening skills, sometimes starting projects before consultation is complete.
But for the remainder of parklands in the city of Adelaide, the world is your oyster. Whether you use the parklands for sport and recreation, for activities for kids and free things to do, or for your own personal relaxation, the council wants to hear from you. The online consultation process at the Shape the Parklands website is well designed and easy to use. Most importantly they want to hear YOUR opinion, and it won't cost you a cent.
So let's prove how much we love our parklands. Join in the conversation, have your say before June 26, and let's get the parklands that YOU want!
Another great article,thanks. The parklands are a wonderful place to visit and I will definitely look at the Parklands website. As for the Festival Plaza office tower, that is a disgrace and needs to be stopped. There's so many more ways to improve the Plaza to be family friendly for Adelaidiansm