Differences in high-low, dark-light, open-closed, dry-wet make a play area more interesting, less predictable and more natural. Unexpected (natural) differences in the terrain such as hills, horizontal tree trunks and rocks for climbing and exploring are encouraged.
Ground: clay, sand, mud
Water: pumps, fountains, streams, wetlands, ponds
Planting: groundcover and flowers, shrubs, trees
Materials: wood and steel
Encourage active movement such as climbing and running, provide some peaceful sitting areas while allowing others to play together and make noise. Children should feel welcome and be comfortable in all seasons
Create opportunities to playfully change the surroundings with sand, mud, and water, use loose natural elements as play equipment, allow children to exercise their imagination and creativity and make it inviting to explore nature. Encourage children to make something useful and beautiful from natural materials. Make it possible for hands-on nature and environmental education within the city.
Educate and demonstrate how nature can be created in the city and encourage continuing interaction with the seasonal changes of nature.
Provide children with the opportunity to experience and play in nature within the city.
|Aspect of design||Criteria|
|Planting||The right tree in the right place, must be central in design, functional and offer more than just aesthetics|
|Ecological value||Fruit, colour and structure are important, attractive for animals, native plants|
|Maintenance plan||Must be set up and responsibility should be taken|
|Design||Must be flexible and multifunctional, be realised with 3-5 years, be presented to the users as well as the nearby residents|
|Surroundings||Should fit into the surroundings, connect to existing water storage, ecological connections, educational functions or other special interests|
|Safety||Design should be transparent for social safety, have visible entrances/exits to traffic, avoid poisonous plants and must fulfil the safety criteria for all play areas|
In new development:
Situate school buildings to provide optimal outdoor spaces for play and education. Create new green public playgrounds accessible to all children.
In existing development:
Transform existing playgrounds and schoolyards by replacing paving with green. Install play equipment made of natural materials which both stimulates play and allows children to experience nature.