Playford Alive Town Park

Project Name: PLAYFORD ALIVE TOWN PARK

Recipient: ASPECT Studios

Client: Renewal SA

Project team: 

  • Playce
  • Wallbridge and Gilbert
  • Lucid Consulting
  • Rider Levett Bucknall
  • Proag Consulting
  • Hydroplan
  • URPS

Project address: Cnr of The Parkway and Peachey Road, Munno Para SA 5115

Playford Alive Town Park is the centrepiece of one of Adelaide’s largest urban and community renewal programs and includes some of the nation’s most socio-economically disadvantaged and culturally diverse groups within its community.

The park itself, designed by a team led by ASPECT Studios for Renewal SA, is a unique multifunctional space focused on creating a diverse range of passive and active recreation opportunities that encourages healthy living and social inclusion. Set amidst a range of commercial, community and residential land uses, it has strong connectivity to surrounding streets and the wider open space and pedestrian / cyclist networks.

A key component in the delivery of Town Park was the commitment to and extent of collaboration internally and externally. Renewal SA articulated early in the project that the community was cynical towards on-the-ground delivery outcomes and our project approach needed to temper that and ensure what was designed was what the community wanted. It also had to be delivered within budget - to that end, the community was informed up-front what the budget was.

Facilitated by URPS, ASPECT Studios and Renewal SA took a hands-on approach to the engagement with design workshops, follow up reporting sessions, and community days on site - all of which was supported by on-line surveys and social media updates.

Culturally the City of Playford is one of the most diverse communities in Adelaide and what resonated in the consultation, from all ages and backgrounds, was that this park was to be for all people.

Specific examples from the consultation included: recent Afghani refugees who hadn’t experienced parks until camps in Pakistan, they saw it as a way to understand how Australians life; self-acknowledged “10 Pound Poms” commented that it was a way to explain how migration has shaped the Northern Plains of Adelaide, and lastly many felt it was an opportunity to acknowledge local the Kaurna presence and history. Our design responds to this in providing structured elements for common use but also flexible to accommodate differing cultural uses and specifically, varying group numbers.

In an area where the quality and perceived safety of Public Open Space areas are key elements in the way local residents interact, learn, play, and be active, it was essential that the park accommodates a range of generations. The park does this and has avoided topical responses to play and activity to ensure the spaces remain relevant to future generations.

The resulting design is community inspired and on their request, centred on active play; playgrounds to suit various age groups; water play; a skate plaza; and a scooter and BMX triple bowl along with an amphitheatre for community performances and gathering spaces for families and larger groups.

The project demonstrates that high levels of diverse participation and quality of design outcomes can be achieved when there is a genuine commitment to community engagement. The result is a truly intergenerational, community driven legacy that will be enjoyed by the community for years to come.

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