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Tuen Mun Park Inclusive Playground
Tuen Mun Park, Tuen Mun
Tuen Mun Park Inclusive Playground is the first inclusive playground in Hong Kong that aims at providing a well-designed play environment which allows children of different ages and abilities to safely enjoy a variety of play experiences, including physical, sensory and social play. With the inclusion of two natural elements of water and sand in the design, children are motivated, spontaneous, challenged, accepting differences, engaged with others when discovering and understanding the world in such a safe play environment.
The playground is divided into two sections with a total of seven themed play zones. The design theme of the southern playground is “Reptile Fun”, which was inspired by the Reptile House of Tuen Mun Park. Children with or without disabilities can climb over climbing frames of different heights, play on all kinds of slides according to their own abilities, and play with various swinging and spinning equipment as well as sensory movable parts. For the northern playground, the design theme is “Water-lily Park”. A vast array of recreational facilities is provided for children with or without disabilities, including a water play zone, an undulating area, trampolines and musical playthings such as percussion instruments and drums which stimulate children’s sense of hearing.
Description how the project contributes with humanity:
The Government attaches great importance to children’s rights and recognises that play is essential to the healthy development of children. To this end, three key considerations – play experience, inclusiveness and safety have been underpinned in the design to achieve a “Play for All” playground. This inclusive playground not only aims at satisfying children’s play needs in physical, sensory and social experience, it also offers diverse play elements, graduated challenges and choice of play which facilitate play activities for children of different ability, age and background. For instance, cradle swings are provided to encourage children to play together with their parents or friends to boost exchange and communication with one another, while the seat swings come with seat belts to cater for children with impaired mobility.
The process of developing inclusive design does not only ensure different needs of potential users being heard and safeguarded, but also embraces the idea of social inclusion. Whilst the conceptual design was recruited from the winning schemes of an open design competition, a series of public engagement activities were conducted throughout the design process, in which the ideas and comments of stakeholders and children were gathered and integrated into the scheme of final design for construction to enhance the sense of belonging to the community.
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