Authored by Tze-Sian Hor, Stuart Joyce and Dean Watts. Prepared for IPWEA Sustainability in Public Works Conference, Melbourne (2016).
As development across our major cities continues to grow, our Councils will face added pressure from population growth, urbanisation and climate change to maintain their parks and open spaces. The health, social and environmental benefits that parks and open space provide, will increase the importance and value placed on them within our communities.
To ensure these on-going benefits for the long-term, a holistic understanding of the existing condition and requirements of our open spaces is required. This can be achieved through sustainable asset management.
The National Asset Management Assessment Framework (NAMAF) provides a methodology for Council’s to assess and report on the maturity of their Asset Management practices and processes. The NAMAF scores can be a valuable internal driver for funding and resourcing for the development of a sustainable asset management system.
This paper provides an overview of the processes that can be implemented to improve NAMAF scores for parks and open spaces and drive the development of a sustainable asset management system. This includes asset assessments, optimised maintenance and operational scheduling as well as asset valuation.
Asset assessments provide Council with key asset data that can be incorporated into Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and asset management systems. This includes asset type, location, condition, maintenance requirements and photos. Ensuring a well-planned and managed data collection process will have considerable benefits to the accuracy and integrity of the overall asset management system.
Maintenance and operational requirements will be developed based on the asset conditions collected during asset assessments. Innovative GIS processes can be utilised to develop and prioritise maintenance requirements. Optimising maintenance schedules can have significant cost-saving benefits, including prolonging asset life.
Valuation of parks assets is a key element of financial performance reporting as well as on-going asset management decision making. Maintenance requirements, capital works budgets, long-term forecasting are all influenced by the valuations.