Trends related to this theme: Fairfax County is in a post-suburbanization phase. The focus of future development is shifting from accommodating new growth to that of redevelopment and providing more lifestyle choices for an increasingly diverse population. With about 40% of the total population racial and ethnic minorities, Fairfax County has a wide breadth of language and cultural diversity. Increasingly, ethnic groups are making use of parks in ways that were not anticipated when the parks were first built, such as regular large all-day gatherings and family celebrations. Also, as the County has grown and more townhouses, condos and apartments have been built, fewer residents have their own private yards. As a result, there is a waiting list for public garden plots and more people are making use of trails and dog parks to socialize outdoors with their dogs.
Countywide objectives related to this theme:
- Plan local and urban parks to include a combination of facilities, amenities and gathering spaces to support, attract and promote social interaction among community members.
- Collocate parks with other civic uses, where feasible, to promote social interaction among community members.
- Incorporate public art exhibit and performance space in parks where feasible.
To address Community Building needs, district-level strategies in the Great Parks, Great Communities Plan build on the Park Authority's long established experience in providing community building programs and facilities and incorporate the recommendations of the 2004 Needs Assessment as well as the adopted Urban Parks Framework.