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News Archive - January 2016

Urban planners challenged to be more playful

Urban planners challenged to be more playful

Urban planners have been urged to be more playful when developing neighbourhood regeneration and city centre design.

Speaking at the Playing Out conference, Paul McTernan, from environmental consultancy SLR Consulting, said it was time for a systematic change.

“The public realm and open space design of our neighbourhoods is all too often focused on the needs of adults at the expense of children and young people. It’s just not something we do well in this country,” he said.

The event, which was designed to explore how better design and masterplanning of the public realm can support children’s holistic development, followed an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fit and Healthy Childhood’s report on the need to create environments that promote play opportunities.

In his talk, McTernan highlighted best practice from around the world and set out an approach to develop a better planning policy approach to neighbourhood regeneration and city centre design. Using examples from global cities including; ‘Mi Casa, Your Casa’ art installation in Atlanta and the Machida Kobato Kindergarten, a light-filled playground in Tokyo, Paul demonstrated how design for play can be integrated into the public realm to create engaging environments for children.

“The integration of design of play in both a natural and structured way can not only help to bring outdoor spaces alive but can also help to integrate safe and vibrant communities. We need to ensure that the delivery of play becomes a systematic part of the planning system,” he said.



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