The effect of urbanisation on play

The effect of urbanisation on play

Australian and New Zealand may not be as populated as our friends in Europe or America, but we stick together. About 85% of New Zealanders live in urban centres, with most living in Auckland.

Similarly 85% of Australians live within 50km of the coastline, leaving the vast outback areas sparsely populated.

As urban and suburban growth continues, space is at a premium. The effect of this urbanisation on play can’t be discounted. With no green spaces of their own, people are required to rely on public playgrounds. Rather than finding play opportunities whenever the mood strikes in their own backyard, play becomes planned – with parents or carers transporting children to parks either via foot, car or public transport.

Urban planners, councils and developers have the continuing challenge of planning green spaces and playgrounds that fit into tight spaces, and that add opportunities for health, fitness, fun and social connections.

There are opportunities to create recreation in abandoned places. The most famous example of this is perhaps the High Line in New York City, a railway line that had sat dormant since 1980 until it was transformed into a public park, with the first section opened in 1999. Now this green space is a beloved space for New York City residents and a tourist attraction.

Closer to home in New Zealand Hamilton City Council are undergoing a similar project to transform an old rail line into a 2.7km bike path to connect the suburbs with the city.

And there are opportunities to create recreation in even the smallest of spaces. Try building up rather than out with climbing nets, or compact structures that may be small but are big on fun, like this family friendly park at Costely Reserve in Auckland.

When it comes to adding play equipment in these smaller and reclaimed spaces creativity is key. Any space can be transformed into a playground with the right planning and equipment.

Modular play equipment has helped many Councils create play spaces that are exciting, yet compact. The complementary components can be added or removed easily and allow you to create a completely custom experience.

Playground Centre’s diverse range of playground sets include all the basics, like monkey bars, climbing structures, slides as well as the latest technology and trends, like electronic play equipment.

Our experts can help assess the space you are working with and design a playground that not only excites but fits within your greenspace plan.

To find out more, contact us (Freecall NZ 0800 805 256 or AU 1800 092 897).