The Importance of Good Design: Comparing Play in the UK vs US

Registration Eligibility
ASLA online learning opportunities are open to all. ASLA members may purchase this presentation at a reduced rate.
Start Date
08/26/2016
End Date
08/25/2018
Description
Play environments encourage physical activity, socialization, and provide opportunities to get outside. However, many of these environments in the United States have become increasingly homogenized and safe as play regulations and insurance requirements respond to societal concerns over children’s risk and safety. Play environments in countries with a higher tolerance of risk often offer more dynamic and interesting play models.

Over a 6-month period in London, we visited 45 playgrounds and assessed 16, collecting data on user gender, age, ethnicity, and activity levels. By comparing playgrounds of similar size (.25-.75 acres) and population density (50,000-175,000 people in 1-mile radius) in London to those in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, we discovered that environments with fewer “off the shelf” components with more unique design elements and play surfaces, had 55% more visitors and 16-18% higher moderate to vigorous physical activity in children and teens.
Distance Learning
Yes
Course Equivalency
No
Subjects
Development Trends
Parks & Recreation
Health, Safety and Welfare
Yes
Hours
1.0
Learning Outcomes
1. Learn about different play environment design models, including varieties of equipment and surfacing.
2. Discover equipment and surfacing types that encourage higher levels of physical activity and promote health.
3. Explore direct observation techniques for assessing the built environment.
Instructors
Meghan Talarowski, Associate ASLA
Website Registration
Course Codes
Provider
American Society of Landscape Architects


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