Planning professionals and developers

Grants for open space and urban design

The Planning and Development Fund - (296.9 KB PDF) operates under the Development Act 1993 and provides investment into the planning and improvement of open space and public realm in South Australia. The Planning and Development Fund provides strategic  investment towards State Government projects and supports two grant programs:

  • Open Space - to assist the conservation and enhancement of natural and cultural open spaces  
  • Places for People - to create or revitalise public spaces that are important to the social, cultural and economic life of their communities.    

Grants are provided annually to Local Government, with councils throughout the State invited to apply for funding of eligible projects under the Open Space and Places for People grant funding programs. Since July 2002, the Government has invested over $150 million to approximately 800 Local Government  open space and public realm projects across South Australia.  

In June 2016, the Minister for Planning announced over $10.4 million in local grants.

Open Space grants

The main objective of the Open Space grant program is to assist in the strategic purchase, planning and enhancement of public open space.  

The Open Space grant program provides funding under the following categories:

  • Open Space planning (which includes concept plans, masterplans, detailed designs, open space and public realm strategies)
  • development and enhancement of open space reserves (including regional parks, linear parks, reserves and play spaces)
  • strategic land purchases to acquire land for public open space.

Places for People grants

Places for People grants provide financial assistance for the planning, urban design and development of public spaces to support the well being of our communities. Projects should enhance place activation and improve the connectivity of prominent public spaces through creative design and development.    

The Places for People grant program provides funding under the following categories:

  • planning and urban design (such as urban design frameworks or masterplans across a council area for places of strategic importance and/or detailed design and contract documentation for key public realm enhancement projects)
  • development for prominent public spaces (including foreshore, riverfront, linear park, main street precincts, civic plazas and town squares).

Grant funding eligibility criteria

For a project to be eligible for Open Space or Places for People grant funding it must directly link to the directions and priorities of the Planning Strategy for South Australia (ie the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide or volumes of the Regional Planning Strategies for South Australia). 

  • Applications may only be made by Local Governments or from organisations representing outback communities outside of the Local Government area (not by community groups or private organisations).
  • Preference will be given to projects that have at least a 50% funding contribution from council. Councils contribution can include contributions from community groups.
  • Projects must be carried out on land that is freely accessible to the public.
  • Projects must be able to be completed within 18 months of grant funding approval.
  • Councils should have successfully completed all contractual obligations for previously funded projects.
  • Open Space projects should be of regional significance or contribute to the use and enjoyment of local reserves and play spaces.
  • Places for People projects should demonstrate a sequential process of previous strategic design foundations.
  • Funding is only available for new works - retrospective funding is not available for projects, studies or land purchases undertaken prior to grant funding approval.

For further information about the grant programs please read the Open Space and Places for People grant funding guidelines (1.2 MB PDF).

How to apply for grant funding

1. Read guidelines

Read the Open Space and Places for People grant funding guidelines.

2. Discuss proposal

Discuss the proposed project/s with a grant funding coordinator. This can be done via phone and is to ensure that all applications are consistent with the objectives of the Open Space and Places for People grant programs. Where appropriate, a grant funding coordinator will arrange a site visit to view the site and discuss the proposal further.

3. Application form

Complete the Open Space and Places for People grant application. Once the scope, detail and eligibility of your proposal has been determined, you should complete the available application form. Ensure all relevant sections are completed with all required supported material and documentation included.

Applications and supporting documents for eligible projects will be accepted by the Open Space and Strategic Projects Team, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure at any time prior to the closing date.  

4. Application closing date

The 2016-17 Open Space and Places for People grant funding round closed on 13 February 2017.  Thank you to the 45 councils who submitted grant applications.  We have commenced the assessment process and will advise all councils in writing the outcome of their application.   

Related information

On this site

Regional Planning Strategies for South Australia
Cycling grants
Water Sensitive Urban Design

Other websites

South Australia's Strategic Plan
Draft 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide 2016 Update
Local Government Association: Public Realm Urban Design Guidelines
Office for Recreation and Sport grants
Green Infrastructure Project
Healthy by Design South Australia


Coast Park Concept Plan - (2.5 MB PDF)


Open Space and Public Realm Investment

Enquiries about Open Space and Public Realm investment, including information for local government on how to apply for the Open Space and Places for People grant programs:

Phone: 7109 7090

Contact Planning Services for enquiries about the Open Space Contribution Scheme, including fees and payments.

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Page last updated 15 February 2017

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