African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Leisure services and infrastructure: Transforming communities and economies

CR Edginton


Leisure, a multi-dimensional construct, is a force for transforming communities and economies ~ promoting meaning, value and assisting in securing a higher quality of life. Difficult to define, leisure is essential in building a sense of community. This paper will explore a mix of elements that promote community livability. More specifically, rankings of cities and the elements contributing to these rankings of communities reported as being most active, ecofriendly, healthiest and quality of living are examined. In addition, a recent study of global model cities in terms of leisure development will be reviewed. The shared elements of these rankings of cities have then been detailed, reflecting the attributes of the attractiveness or livability of a city or community. Among these attributes are: 1) natural factors; 2) social factors; 3) historical factors; 4) leisure factors; and 5) infrastructure, food and shelter. All of the elements and criteria used in city rankings have been incorporated into a framework for promoting community livability including: 1) embracing the principles of community greening; 2) enhancement of community attractiveness; 3) opportunities for social, cultural and leisure participation; 4) programmes that provide opportunities for civic participation; 5) heritage management; 6) use of alternative and renewable sources of energy; and 7) economic development focused on leisure.

Keywords: Leisure, community life, community aspirations, community livability, framework for community livability.

AJOL African Journals Online