Opening City, Changing Lives - Inclusive Playgrounds in New Taipei City
A call for inclusive playgrounds for children with different abilities and places that can fit for all ages to play is alignment with the policy of Urban and Rural Development Department in New Taipei City. Fifteen spots have been chosen and the different groups who concern the issues such as parents, disabled groups and other NGOs will be invited to attend the meetings before the construction is being implemented. A start with 4 spots served as demonstration parks was launched first in May 2017, and more inclusive playgrounds will be completed gradually in the near future.
However, New Taipei City is the largest city covering urban and remote areas. The location choosing and the actual needs for kids are to be explored more in depth. In other words, the project itself should be inclusive as much as possible to allow more groups to be involved in the meetings. A cross-section meeting was first held at the city level to seek further cooperation. Later, the related NGO groups, district officers, academic groups such as children development and playground designers will get engaged in the planning and design level. The goal of the inclusive playgrounds aims at building up a barrier-free environment for different abilities of children and adults as well to play. More interactive, multi-functional, and safer equipment fit for kids with different abilities are offered. In there, children can play without limits. It is hoped that the playgrounds can stimulate the senses of the kids and gradually develop their imagination, creativity, muscular strengths and many others according to children’s development physically and mentally. Also, the playgrounds can serve as a social function for different ages of groups to exercise or play there.
Now, there are 498 parks in the city and it seems that 15 inclusive playgrounds are not sufficient for the residents. Thus, the solution to the problem can be categorized into 2 parts: one is to replace or repair the old playgrounds as inclusive ones; another is to improve and incorporate the 152 theme parks on a more conclusive basis. Gradually, New Taipei City can reach its goal to have more and more inclusive playgrounds around the city.