The new way to play – help design a natural play space

Child playing outdoors

Transport Canberra and City Services in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects invite people to submit an expression of interest for the design and construction of three new natural play spaces.

Three sites in the ACT have been identified for a new natural play space – Finn Street in O’Connor, Telopea Park in Barton and Tuggeranong Town Park in Greenway.

Parents, childhood educators, university students and other interested people are invited to collaborate with experts in the field on a proposal for a natural play experience at any of these sites. Three winning teams will be selected and will each receive $100,000 for the design, consultation and construction of their natural play space.

Natural play spaces aim to provide unstructured play experiences from elements such as logs and rocks to allow children to climb, jump, explore and develop their gross-motor skills. These three playgrounds will help enhance the natural settings of these parks and provide all the sensory experiences children love.

Catherine Keirnan, ACT President of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, said the play space should test children’s cognitive and physical capabilities, allow them to explore their senses, provide social interaction, and teach them about the environment.

“The natural play space will be a community place, so it seems only logical to create a co-designed play environment that will be enjoyed by all who use it.

“Competition entries will be assessed on their understanding of nature play, their design approach and inspiration as well as how the community including adults, children and University of Canberra landscape students will be involved in the process," she said.

For more information on the competition please visit www.aila.org.au/craftyourpark. You will have to move quickly as entries close on Monday 17 October 2016 and will be judged as part of the International Festival of Landscape Architecture taking place from 27 – 30 October 2016.