Considerations for Functional & Sustainable Park Design
Landscape architects play an important role in the development of aesthetically-pleasing and functional public spaces. From streetscapes to gardens and residential areas to college campuses — the primary goal of landscape architecture is to create spaces that connect people while enhancing and protecting the surrounding natural environment.
We’re fortunate to have a team member with this area of expertise! He shared some valuable considerations when designing a playground or park space from his perspective as a landscape architect.
Professional designers can play a role in protecting the community from crime by integrating certain principles and concepts into the design and management of a physical environment. In a playground project this could include natural surveillance in recreation areas, in particular, children’s play areas, and ensuring they are visible from a multitude of vantage points. Typically, playgrounds should be directly adjacent to the street in order to protect children from strangers and traffic.
No project plan is complete until a budget is established. Whether the project is big or small, and no matter how many resources are available, this is a necessary consideration. Gathering detailed estimates for all project costs is a great place to start.
A playground should be a place where children can play and have fun. It should not be a place where injuries occur. It is necessary to consider a variety of aspects when designing a play space to maximize safety and mitigate risk. These include surfacing, play components, surrounding landscape treatments and proper signage.
It is important to select materials and work with vendors who provide superior product quality and a robust material mix. In doing so it will help reduce maintenance and result in a final product that lasts and looks great for many years to come.
One often overlooked aspect of playground design is maintenance. When designing your dream play space you should consider what resources you plan to invest in the upkeep. In addition, you should think about how feasible it will be for the individuals who perform the maintenance to complete the work.
It is imperative to design a play space that welcomes children and families of all abilities to enjoy the fun. Think beyond basic accessibility and include walkways, surfacing and playground equipment that is truly inclusive for all users.