5 places designing young people and children IN instead of OUT

We're working on a youth recreation study for Marrickville Council, and thought we'd share some great projects that we've found in the process. Here are five amazing spaces designing young people in, and not out.

We work with a lot of kids, young people and families, and as Sydney continues to grow increasingly we are finding that there are fewer public places for young people and kids just to hang out, have some fun, stay active and feel safe.  Young people and kids want places that are integrated into the public domain. Not just skate bowls and “kit” playgrounds isolated in parks.

Cities that are getting it right realise that kids and young people add energy, vibrancy and fun to local areas. They are also good for the local economy. Happy, engaged and healthy kids also grow into happy, engaged and healthy adults – and a better society for us all. Places that are designed to include children and young people benefit us all, including our ageing population (see http://www.8-80cities.org).

1.Geelong Youth Plaza

The Geelong Youth Activities Area is a dedicated outdoor plaza-style park, located at the high value Waterfront in Geelong. Containing an array of cutting edge design features, young people can participate in a range of physical activities or relax at this award-winning arena. One of the main objectives of the project was to help young people feel more connected and involved in the community and an important part of achieving this is to provide them with quality activity areas and facilities throughout the region, not just in the outer suburbs where land is cheap and plentiful.

project_geelong_skatepark.jpg

http://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/community/youth/article/item/8d044641ac6f6f9.aspx

2. Copenhagen Play Streets and Play Yards

In Copenhagen, a high density city, children are designed into the streetscape through play streets and play yards resulting in healthier, more socialised adults causing less negative impacts on society. Copenhagen has one of the lowest crime rates in the world – significantly reducing costs to the government in areas such as law and order and health. And it’s fun!!

copenhagen

http://www.cycling-embassy.dk/2010/12/14/play-streets/

3. Merida Youth Factory, Spain

Organised between the regional government, local community and professional designers.   Located in Merida, Spain. This space is a modern, new and multifaceted approach to creating public youth spaces. Youth Factory acknowledges the wide variety of activities that kids actually want to participate in – skatepark, rock climbing, hip hop dancing, graffiti art, circus training and wireless internet. The space also has meeting rooms where kids can go for counselling and education programs.   The Youth Factory forms one of seven youth facilities in the region.

http://www.archdaily.com/148708/merida-factory-youth-movement-selgas-cano/

4. Play streets, New York New York

In New York, New York (and other cities such as London) with limited public space, streets are temporarily closed to traffic to create new places for play. Play Streets offer a low-cost way for neighborhoods and schools to create more space for active recreation.

http://centerforactivedesign.org/playstreets/

5. Multipurpose space, Box Hill Victoria

This space in Box Hill Victoria caters to the multiple interests of kids and young people, and the wider growing community. The site functions as both community space and courts for multiple sport and recreation activities. A dynamic and engaging super graphic defines the play areas and creates an iconic and playful destination for the growing community. There’s cycling, ball courts, rebound walls, ping pong tables, walking tracks and it looks awesome.