Alex Edwards of Inturf offers a general guide to the upkeep and maintenance of established turf areas during the autumn months.
Vince Edwards of James Coles & Sons (Nurseries) Ltd shares a list of species that meet the particular planting requirements of play areas. The plants provide a safe yet interesting backdrop and a floral complement to the various elements of a play scheme.
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Adam Pounds of Tillers Turf runs through a simple guide to preparing areas for turf, for landscaping and sports situations, and getting the best results when laying it.
The latest publication by Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I’DGO), ‘Why does the outdoor environment matter?’, has been added to the online Transport Advice Portal (TAP), a paper-free technical library available for everyone involved in planning, designing and operating road networks.
The four-page booklet summarises findings from both phases of the I’DGO project on older people’s mobility and well-being, and provides key messages for policy makers and professionals, including those working in highways and transportation.
I’DGO is a research project focused on identifying the most effective ways of shaping outdoor environments inclusively. It is run by three academic research centres in Edinburgh, Warwick and Salford, working as a multidisciplinary consortium, supported by partners in industry, government and advocacy.
Paige Johnson is the author of the Playscapes blog, which at 80,000 page views per month is the most widely read source of playground design on the web.
Playgrounds can be one of the worst offenders in the struggle to make public spaces locally relevant. Following a standard recipe of ‘kit, fence and carpet’ ensures that a play space could be in Milton Keynes or Madagascar, Swindon or South LA. Without context, who’s to tell?
Adding local context to a playground installation increases community commitment to the space, involves local providers, and is just plain more fun. Localised elements can form the basis for new playground installations, or be added to improve existing ones. Here, examples from my four years of writing about playgrounds at Playscapes illustrate strategies for localising the playground.
1. Consider topography
Whenever possible, playgrounds should make the ground plane itself part of the play, preserving or reflecting local topographies.
Retaining an existing pile of rubble at a reclaimed industrial site in France allowed this playground by Agence TER to fit into a familiar local site AND be more exciting by hanging off its steep side.
Topographies can be simpler constructions as well: this spiral mound in London, made of turf by Mortar and Pestle Studio, recalls similar Elizabethan garden features. Read the rest of this entry »
Today’s guest post comes from Cath Prisk, Director of Play England. Play England is the national organisation campaigning for children’s freedom to play. Design and engineering of the spaces and places children grow up have a key role in making sure we reverse the trend that is keeping 70% of our nation’s children locked inside.
“90% of adults played out regularly in their street as children. Nowadays 29% of children aged 7–14 say they don’t play or hang out in their street at all.”
Source: Playday 2010/ ICM Research
If you think about where you live, how often do you see children and young people outside enjoying themselves? Now think about when you were young – how often were you roaming your neighbourhood and playing outside?
There are many reasons why children are less visible in our neighbourhoods, but design of the spaces and travel routes around them is a critical part. Read the rest of this entry »