Play zones in Langenlois
Children need exercise and self-determined play for their healthy development. Attractive, near-to-nature playgrounds are exciting for children, but cannot satisfy all their different needs for play and exploration. Covering these needs requires a network of differently designed open spaces, which can be used in varied ways depending on children’s age, interests, sex, etc. However, even in small towns and rural municipalities sites that allow children to play freely outside public playgrounds have gradually decreased in number over the past few years.
In a pilot project realised in the Lower Austrian municipality of Langenlois, potential play zones on community territory were inspected jointly with the children and their parents. In different workshop formats with elementary school children (“play-zone detectives”) and parents, the project team elaborated concepts for concrete measures. Results and findings – such as playground sponsors or a playground toy box, pathways (for children) furnished with tactile materials that encourage play and opportunities for play in the town centre – are potentially transferable to other municipalities.