Parks for Inclusion

Open parkland with St Patrick's Cathedral Melbourne in the background.When we talk of ‘inclusion’ and ‘inclusive’, have we thought of everyone? Older people and adults with disability are usually front of mind. But older people can have many different backgrounds and capabilities. Same goes for children and young people. The Parks and Recreation Report does an excellent job of covering just about everyone in terms of age, disability, cultural background, refugee status and sexual orientation. It has statistics on each of the groups which help focus the mind when it comes to designing parks and recreation facilities.

The Report is a concise document emphasising that everyone can take advantage of facilities, programs, places and spaces that make their lives and communities great. Published by the National Recreation and Park Association. 

Also, have a look at Advancing play participation for all: The challenge of addressing play diversity and inclusion in community parks and playgrounds. This is an academic article.

Abstract: Outdoor parks and playgrounds are important sites of social inclusion in many urban communities. However, these playspaces are often inaccessible and unusable for many children with disabilities. This paper presents findings from a case study of one urban municipality in Ireland. The study aimed to understand play participation in five local playgrounds by exploring the perspectives of play providers and families with diverse abilities, through the lens of universal design.