There is nothing more exciting for those of us who facilitate community engagement than seeing feedback influence plans and these plans become reality.
URPS has been working with the Department of Environment Water & Natural Resources in recent years to develop investment priorities for metropolitan parks in Adelaide. This has involved the establishment and facilitation of two co-design teams featuring a cross-section of interest groups including schools, scouts and guides, walking, cycling, Friends of Parks and local Councils.
The co-design teams provided their report to Minister Hunter, identifying a suite of initiatives to bring more visitors to parks. A key focus was the provision of natural play spaces adjacent to existing visitor facilities. DEWNR staff have also emphasised that “we asked you what would make you visit parks more often and you told us you wanted more walking and cycling trails, public toilets, barbecues and picnic areas, and playgrounds – so that’s what we’re building”.
Five themed play areas were opened in Morialta Conservation Park in September this year. These include Frog Island, Bird Nests and Eagle’s Perch. The playground designers incorporated ideas from the Minecraft schools competition that was part of the co-design process.
The Kites and Kestrels adventure playground and a range of mountain bike experiences are supported by new visitor facilities at Cobbler Creek Recreation Park, providing a challenging outdoor play environment for children of all ages and abilities.
These projects are great examples of the co-design process shaping initiatives to get people more active in nature.