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NZ playground company releases industry-first guide

Friday, 1 November, 2019

New Zealand playground company releases industry-first guide

Playground Centre, the company behind award-winning playgrounds in New Zealand and Australia, has released a guide to creating playgrounds that ensure children, families and communities reap the physical, emotional and social benefits of play.

A first for the playground industry, The Great 8: The 8 Principles of a Best Practice Playground, sets out the key principles for playground design, construction and maintenance. The release coincides with next week’s 2019 New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (NZILA) Firth Conference to be held in Christchurch.

Playground Centre’s Chief Executive Officer Simon Filleul says The Great 8 is backed by the latest research and real-life examples, and his company’s decades of experience in the business of play.

“The research shows that play is more than just fun,” Simon says. “Regardless of age and ability, everyone can benefit from play.

“As we strive to create more liveable cities and tackle major social issues such as obesity and mental health, playgrounds have a vital place in the planning and design of our public spaces, schools and communities.

“They are at the centre of a wave of innovative thinking about ways to draw people outside, get active and connect with their environment and each other, and create happier, healthier communities.”

Simon says Playground Centre’s guide has been developed to assist playground designers, planners, builders and managers to create play spaces that maximise play, developmental, health and fitness value for everyone.

“It’s an indispensable tool for designing new playgrounds, but it’s also ideal for evaluating and improving existing spaces – giving confidence that a playground embraces industry-leading standards,” Simon says.

The eight guiding principles for best practice playground design are:

• Enjoyment and engagement

• Sensory stimulation

• Social interaction

• Agility and fitness

• Confidence challenge

• Easy access and amenities

• Condition and durability

• Safety.

Based on these principles, The Great 8 guide sets out the standards to improve the quality of design, installation, maintenance and upgrading of all-sized play and recreational areas including those in child-care facilities, school grounds, tourist parks, commercial and retail outlets, suburban parks and large-scale destination playgrounds.

Each principle consists of a range of elements (or criteria), which can be checked and rated, clearly indicating areas for improvement to achieve a best practice ‘green’ rating.

Playground Centre has helped create award-winning playgrounds including Anderson Park in Napier and Auckland’s top parks as voted by families including Tui Glen Park Reserve, Takapuna Beach Reserve Playground and Western Park.

To register for your copy, click here or visit us at next week’s NZILA Firth Conference in Christchurch.


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