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Open AccessArticle

Fostering Social Sustainability through Intergenerational Engagement in Australian Neighborhood Parks

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School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George Street, Brisbane 4001, Australia
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Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Road, Brisbane 4059, Australia
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Institute for Future Environments, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George Street, Brisbane 4001, Australia
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School of Design, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George Street, Brisbane 4001, Australia
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School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Road, Brisbane 4059, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4435; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164435
Received: 4 June 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 16 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Residential Landscapes: An International Perspective)
Social sustainability includes aspects of equity and is associated with two of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals focused on promoting good health and well-being for all ages. Yet, this pillar of sustainability is considered the least understood, as compared to economic and environmental components. To address this, our study focused on intergenerational engagement within residential neighborhood parks to foster social sustainability and encourage healthy and active living. This study included an intercept survey with open-ended questions of 386 adult park users within 12 parks in South-East Queensland, one of Australia’s fastest-growing areas. Approximately two-thirds (68%) of adult participants visited the park with one or more children, primarily to use the playground. Further thematic analysis shows that intergenerational interactions predominantly include adults playing with or teaching children. However, intergenerational interactions were limited in numerous situations, such as when adults accompany older children. This paper concludes with a discussion on potential ways to increase intergenerational interactions in parks to promote health and well-being for all ages, thus increasing social sustainability within residential developments. View Full-Text
Keywords: intergenerational engagement; parks; residential neighborhood parks; social sustainability; wellbeing intergenerational engagement; parks; residential neighborhood parks; social sustainability; wellbeing
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Washington, T.L.; Flanders Cushing, D.; Mackenzie, J.; Buys, L.; Trost, S. Fostering Social Sustainability through Intergenerational Engagement in Australian Neighborhood Parks. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4435.

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Sustainability, EISSN 2071-1050, Published by MDPI AG
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