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Australia-first study finds $10 of value for every $1 spent on parks and sports grounds

A Social Return On Investment (SROI) report, commissioned by the City of Parramatta Council and the Western Sydney Local Health District, is a new concept and said to be the first of its kind in Australia. 

It’s found that for every dollar invested in green social infrastructure, $10 of social and economic benefit is gained. Reserves in Winston Hills and Parramatta along with parks in Parramatta, Epping and Carlingford served as a sample size. The output was applied to all 33 sports grounds and 124 local and district parks and shows that an almost $37 million dollar investment at 2018 has produced almost $367 million dollars in social and economic benefit. 

The SROI evaluation revealed that City of Parramatta’s parks and sports grounds produce significant social value for a range of stakeholders, including enhanced social connections, community pride, and belonging, and improved emotional wellbeing.

West Epping Park

“Access to quality green open space is beneficial for physical and mental health and wellbeing” a spokesperson for the City of Parramatta Council’s Social Outcomes Team said. 

“Green open space improves social connections and supports the development of vibrant communities by providing a place for activity and opportunities to interact. Accessible and safe green open spaces foster active play, which is associated with physical cognitive and other social benefits for children”  

Parramatta is currently the epicentre for an investment boom which is set to double its $23 billion dollar economy by 2021. It is currently the 6th largest city geographically in Australia and home to more than 250,000 residents, a brand new world class $30 million dollar stadium and the $3.2 billion dollar Parramatta square currently under construction.  

By 2036 its expected 400 thousand residents will call Parramatta home. The city’s 350 diverse parks, sporting grounds and other open places will play a critical role keeping the burgeoning population balanced, healthy and active. 

View the full report here or for more information call the City of Parramatta Council Customer Contact Centre on 02 9806 5050.