Play it forward to 2020

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The world over, governments are striving to create more liveable cities and communities in which people don’t just survive, they thrive. Play spaces are at the centre of a wave of innovative thinking about ways to draw people outside to connect with their natural environment and each other, and reap the physical, emotional and social benefits of play.

Playground Centre takes a look into the future of playgrounds with their Top 5 Trends for 2020.

The rise and rise of the destination playground

The destination playground remains one of the biggest playground trends. And by big, we mean BIG! Drawcards for locals and tourists alike, local governments are being motivated to create larger spaces with more attractions and standout features – taller towers, bigger slides, and unique, locally-inspired themes.

The eco playground

Play spaces and green spaces often go hand in hand. However, as we continue our quest for a cleaner, greener environment for the next generation, there are even higher expectations regarding the incorporation of green spaces into urban planning and design. This flows over into playground design, placing nature-based play and equipment made from sustainably sourced and even recycled materials on the ‘must have’ list.

A whole new world

While technology is frequently blamed for our sedentary lifestyles and the associated health issues, the integration of technology into play spaces is increasingly being used to engage children in active play. Smart phone-based game apps are turning playgrounds into landscapes of imagination, creating whole new worlds for children to explore. Is it the key to drawing older children and teenagers to parks and playgrounds too?

Everyone is welcome

The inclusive playground is by no means a new trend but designers of playspaces and play equipment continue to be inspired to discover new ways to make play safe, accessible and inclusive for people of all ages and abilities. It’s all about making sure everyone feels welcome to stay and play not only because it’s easy to move around but because there’s a multiple of play experiences on offer.

The customer knows best

Build it and they will come. Well, not necessarily. Research and experience shows that the more involved a community is in the design and development of a playspace in their local area, the higher the use. Increased collaboration between councils, developers, landscape architects and residents is resulting in innovative, user-centric playground designs which meet the diverse needs of communities.

For more inspiration on the latest in playgrounds, register for a copy of Playground Centre’s upcoming Play 2020 and Beyond book.

Richard Clague