30.03.21 06:22 PM By Dani

Evolving Landscape Design

The public parks and playgrounds provided in the past may not substitute for the loss of access to nearby natural environments caused by higher density living.  Without huge maintenance budgets and being cognisant of safety risks, the main objective of public landscaping is to ensure economical maintenance by labour-saving machinery and avoid water features or landforms such as cliffs or gullies (which are particularly attractive to children in their search for adventure).

We know that the more attractive and comfortable a space is for children and families, the more time they’ll spend there, developing a sense of pride and ownership in keeping the area clean and maintained.  Adding just a few natural elements to the mix can make a big impact.

The integration of the play experience with the landscape setting is integral to achieving a balanced design; building on the existing fabric of mature vegetation, landform, key vistas and built form while presenting an experience that is unique, challenging and exciting. 

Playscape Creations Work with the Natural Environment

Work with the natural environment

Rather than clearing and levelling the site completely, incorporate the natural slope and other native elements into your plans. Let existing trees determine where shaded seating should occur.  Use hills and changing levels as opportunities for embankment play.  Incorporate discovery paths and existing landform features wherever possible.

Playscape Creations Think Unstructured but Connected

Think unstructured but connected

According to research, children often view natural surroundings as part of the playground itself, incorporating them into their play area.  Consider placing play structures near natural features such as bushland or a bio corridor.  Create winding pathways that connect nodes of play elements with discovery elements like butterfly gardens, dry creek beds, sensory gardens or sandpits.  This extends the play area and encourages children and their carers to explore their expanded environment, stretching their imaginations along the way. 

Playscape Creations Create a Space for Everyone

Create a space for everyone

Inclusivity is key to evoking feelings of community and belonging; there must be a place for everyone.  Thoughtful designs need to consider the needs of the community, facilitating inclusion for people of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds.  Consider offering seating opportunities for carers with clear lines of sight across the space.  Integrate shade as a key consideration for user comfort.  Incorporate active elements suitable for teenagers so they have a place to spend their time too. 

What trends have you witnessed or are you currently employing in your landscape design?  We'd love to know more!  Leave a comment below or use the button below to start a conversation with our team about how we can help.

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