Community Facilities

When community facilities, such as schools and sport and recreation facilities, are all located near to homes and each other - and ideally within cycling or walking distance -  it enhances opportunities for physical activity, wellbeing, sports participation, community interaction and social cohesion.  The co-location of sporting facilities and schools within a neighbourhood or housing estate, for instance, will encourage children to walk or cycle to school and for all ages to use local recreation facilities, including those at schools, out of school hours. This section highlights the value of making community facilities flexible, shared, mixed-use and available at many times.  

Authors: Dr Karen Villanueva, Dr Hayley Christian, Julianna Rozek, Dr Lucy Gunn, Dr Melanie Davern, Professor Billie Giles-Corti 

Source: Active Living Research. Active Living Research (2012). Promoting Physical Activity through Shared Use of School and Community Recreational Resources. San Diego.
Source: Active Living Research. Active Living Research (2012). Promoting Physical Activity through Shared Use of School and Community Recreational Resources. San Diego.

Schools are often centrally located within a community. The facilities and spaces they contain can provide opportunities for residence to be physically active

What do we mean by ‘community facilities’? 

Community facilities are public places where members of a community gather for recreational, educational, artistic, social or cultural activities. The activities can be organised, such as amateur sports leagues, or casual, such as children visiting a playground. 

Examples of community facilities include: 

  • Schools 
  • Neighbourhood centres 
  • Libraries 
  • Sports centres 
  • Parks  
  • Places of worship.  
Source: Active Living Research. Active Living Research (2012). Promoting Physical Activity through Shared Use of School and Community Recreational Resources. San Diego.
Source: Active Living Research. Active Living Research (2012). Promoting Physical Activity through Shared Use of School and Community Recreational Resources. San Diego.

Children and adolescents with access to existing school recreational facilities outside of regular school hours are more likely to be active

Source: Sallis, J. F., et al. (2012). “Role of Built Environments in Physical Activity, Obesity, and Cardiovascular Disease.” Circulation 125(5): 729-737.
Source: Sallis, J. F., et al. (2012). “Role of Built Environments in Physical Activity, Obesity, and Cardiovascular Disease.” Circulation 125(5): 729-737.

The availability and proximity of recreation facilities has been associated with greater physical activity among adults, adolescents and children

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