Accessibility and equity issues within natural playground usage and development

Accessibility and equity issues within natural playground usage and development

Authors: Miho Trudeau

Abstract

Natural play spaces provide benefits for children and communities; however, these spaces have been shown to be less accessible to marginalized communities. In an investigation of the challenges of natural playground usage and development in Calgary, Canada, several recurring issues of equity and accessibility were found. This article reports on equity and accessibility challenges that emerged in a qualitative research study on five natural playgrounds sites. This study used walking/playing and online interviews with 51 participants, including children, caregivers, playground designers, and municipal workers. Several challenges were found in relation to the equitable development and accessible usage of these sites; however, opportunities for inclusive usage were also illustrated. Inclusive opportunities included the provision of play spaces that attract diverse users and the facilitation of diverse play activities, not limited to physical play. Challenges included barriers for physical accessibility and equity concerns related to the production of sites.

Journal:
Leisure/Loisir
Year:
2024