Innovative Play Structures Research Project August 2001 Page 12 Universal

Innovative play structures research project august

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Innovative Play Structures Research Project August, 2001 Page 12
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Universal Design Universal design means inclusiveness for all community members consistent with aesthetically good design. It seeks to plan and develop an inclusive environment providing maximum choices. It is important to assure that all members of the community have access to our playgrounds and to play equipment as well as to quality play experiences within these environments. The Universal Design Institute at the University of Manitoba is an excellent resource for acquiring information and assistance in designing universally accessible playgrounds and play equipment. Play for All Guidelines (MIG Communications, 1987, 1992) is a publication which provides planning, design and management guidelines for outdoor play settings for all children. This publication is organized and written to take the reader through the planning and design process based on universal design principles, beginning with child development objectives, through site analysis, to the establishment of site design criteria and the development of management criteria. It examines all aspects of the play settings from entrances to pathways, signage, fencing, manufactured play equipment, multipurpose game settings, surfacing, topography, vegetation, animal settings, water, play props, stage settings and gathering places. As well it considers play programming and risk management strategies. It is a useful document to consult as an inherent component of the planning process. Manitoba has been a leader in the incorporation of universal design practices in all aspects of environmental development. Innovative Play Structures Research Project August, 2001 Page 13
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2.4 Play in Manitoba While play and play opportunities have universal characteristics, children’s play in different parts of the world is influenced by geography, climate, and cultural and societal conditions. Children in Manitoba experience greatly varying conditions within the province itself, and these special conditions must be recognized in any play space planning process. Manitoba covers a large geographic area with varying types of geography and climate issues. Children play on the Prairies, the Precambrian Shield, the Boreal Forest and the Northern Tundra – all within Manitoba. Climactic conditions range from extremes of cold to extremes of heat, from dry, drought periods to wet, rainy periods. Our summers are short and hot and our winters are long and cold. Manitobans are presented with both challenges and opportunities to develop play spaces and equipment which acknowledge and capitalize on our unique environment. It is important to acknowledge the fact that Manitoba is a four season province and especially, that winter conditions exist for 6 months of the year in our most southerly areas and longer, further north. Manitoba children should have access to playgrounds and play equipment which are developed to accommodate and take advantage of these conditions.
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