Why are community facilities important for physical activity and health?
Authors: Dr Karen Villanueva, Dr Hayley Christian, Julianna Rozek, Dr Lucy Gunn, Dr Melanie Davern, Professor Billie Giles-Corti.
Co-located and integrated community facilities provide a space that facilitates regular physical activity, social interaction and the development of a sense of community (see also Sense of Place design feature) helping to support healthy communities, enhance wellbeing, and build social networks.  Shared and multiple use of sport and recreation, and other community facilities provides a cost-effective impetus for their provision in terms of physical space and associated infrastructure. In particular, there are many additional health and other benefits relating to joint provision and shared and multiple use of sport and recreation facilities, including :
- Less duplication and maximum use of community facilities and services
- Reduced operating costs
- Increased usage and revenue
- Shared capital costs, services, resources and expertise
- Creation of a community hub - a focal point for community activity
- Improved relationships between community groups and organisations
- Increased community ownership of facilities
- Access to a broader range of services and expertise – improving opportunities for participation in sports and active recreation programs
- Increased viability of clubs and facilities