Play environments fulfill a vital role in the physical, social, and cognitive development of their users. These spaces allow kids and adults to engage all their senses to find calm and work together to assess and overcome challenges.
There are two important design trends that have helped amplify the reach and benefits of public play spaces over the past several years - inclusivity and nature play. We now see more parks and playgrounds that celebrate inclusive design. Rather than programming for specific separate user “restrictions,” play environments offer a range of accessibility and challenges that promotes side-by-side play. Integrating natural spaces allows a greater freedom of expression, imagination, creativity, and exploration.
These play environments blur the boundaries that separate people of differing abilities, ages, and interests. Creating inviting play environments that appeal to the largest possible number of people is a way to bring greater social vitality to any community.
Understanding: Participants will learn how play environments differ from traditional design in a way that addresses the needs of a diverse population.
Evidence-Based: Participants will learn how studies in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and biophilic response affect the design of play environments.
Incorporation: Participants will learn how to incorporate strategies in their own projects to create a holistic play environment that benefits a large population of users.
Amplification: Participants will learn how strategies for creating play environments can be applied to schools, healthcare facilities, corporate, and residential landscapes.
Immediate Past President of the American Society of Landscape Architects and Principal Landscape Architect,
MRWM Landscape Architects