Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Design Standards and Natural Playgrounds

Developing natural playgrounds is unfortunately still difficult in most communities.  While these types of playgrounds (when properly designed) can easily meet all safety standards; improve children's health in numerous ways; increase property values; and also improve the overall livability of our towns, there are still challenegs to getting them built. 

Part of the problem is a lack of understanding of the effects of the regulatory systems we develop, which often make the best designs infeasable or impossible.  The following article (just published in the International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administrators) describes some of these issues, while also highlighting successes in making our communities' playgrounds better for our children (such as the Urban Design Manual I developed for the Town of Collingwood). 

The lesson that needs to be learned is that we create, and live in environments of our own making, and we are ultimately responsible for our communities.  By better designing our processes and regulations we can achieve developments within our communities that are healthier and support everyone's well-being.

Natural playgrounds article - IFPRA

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