For us here at Pedestrian Space, a smart city is one that (among many other things) plans water play features throughout neighborhoods for youth to engage in cooling, fun play during the warmer months. 💦
This is Högalids Parklek in Södermalm (a neighborhood in the southern part of Stockholm city).
When we lived in the region, we would happily commute 45 minutes on public transit to go and spend hours at this park. The shallow pool is a massive hit for young children (don’t let the emptiness of the photo fool you- I strategically photographed this on a cooler, cloudy late Summer day to just get the environment in focus).
What else made this park and play area (in a city rich with parks & play areas) one of our all-time favorite?
Not all playgrounds have gates or are enclosed. Kids can move fast and even when watching them very closely, there is relief in knowing that a barrier will prevent them from darting out into nearby roads, especially with younger children.
For parents and caregivers watching more than one child, that gating can really provide an extra little measure of safety & peace of mind.
Hallelujah!!! The issue of access to adequate and clean public toilets is, I am learning, a challenge in cities across the world. Knowing that we could relax, play and have access to a safe, clean and well-maintained bathrooms right on the park premises (generally only used by children, parents & care at the park) was so incredibly practical.
Sometimes it’s nice, especially on really warm days, to be able to just kick back and watch your child/children play. The park has ample, straightforward seating that on busy days was well occupied.
✅ BUY A CUP OF COFFEE
Also in the little building (with a bathroom and workspace of the municipal staff who maintained this park), one could buy a simple, affordable and strong cup of coffee. ☕
📷 Annika @pedestrianspace
✍🏼 We are currently collaborating with @playincities on a project about play environments in cities we inhabit. This post is a little preview of more to come this Summer about observing play environments & amenities in our cities of residence.