Fostering social sustainability through intergenerational engagement in Australian neighborhood parks

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.



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Inclusion requested by Tracy Washington (Author) on 1 March 2023


Cushing, Debra (Author); Mackenzie, Janelle (Author); Buys, Laurie (Author); Trost, Stewart (Author); Washington, Tracy (Author)


Sustainability, 11(16), Article number: 4435 1-16.: 2019