Changing the city, one playground at a time

For people within the community (business and society) to work together to develop and build sustainable playgrounds in derelict areas. This can be outside spaces and even indoor buildings.

-Utilising spaces that previously would have been used for unsociable behaviour and crime. Providing a safer and greener Bristol.

-Planning to meet needs of future generations, through developing and using skills in young people, particularly in disadvantaged areas. 

-Significant evidence and examples that demonstrate children’s development enhanced and nurtured through playing. Children in all communities need to play. However in disadvantaged. lower income communities, need for ‘free’ and accessible means of playing and developing skills is more critical. Community playground will provide this.

-To be used by young children and youth in all areas in city, through adopting inclusive design methods.

-To be developed by people from a range of sectors within the society-businesses, youth and children, students of all ages and people living within community. Through grass root development within community, as people within community take ownership of playground development, they are more likely to make effort to sustain it.

-Playground to be built across each Bristol neighbourhood partnership. To be developed and built for use during Bristol 2015 green capital as flagship project of our green city.

-To be sustained by funding from businesses, UK technology grants, and possibly crowd funding.

-Through creating network of skills and knowledge transfer, people and organisations can work more effectively together and change generation through play and further ideas that develop from network built.

Business in the society

-To be funded by businesses within Bristol, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives or corporate philanthropy. Businesses to commit to fund certain amount towards project over 2-5 year timeframe,

-Provide opportunities for businesses to develop and network with each other during volunteer days.

-Champion business to lead development for each Playground, working with neighbourhood partnership.


-Powered by volunteers-people residing in local community, university students, higher education students and businesses to work together to design playground.

-Collaboration with existing organisations such as play for England and street games, which have experience in play and game development. Also utilising knowledge of local Bristol based voluntary organisations such as young Bristol and urban pursuit.

Play and skills development

-To utilise Bristol’s great experience in play and development to create play areas that our tailored to needs of individual community.

-To provide areas for games and creative learning. Areas where organisations such as @Bristol and national trust to implement educational activities.

-Skills transfer from businesses to youth responsible for development of playground. Mentoring and teaching skills to people within community.

Opportunities for all

-To be inclusive e.g.  provide sensory areas for children with disabilities.

-To provide play areas that meet interest of both girls and boys.

Inclusive and sustainable design

-Use combination of artisan/traditional manufacturing methods and innovative technology and materials. Areas, which Bristol has vast amount of experience in.

-To integrate renewable technology into playground areas, such as lights and music systems powered by mechanical energy from roundabouts children play on.

-To use recycled materials-each playground to have at least one activity or structure made out of recycled materials.

Digital network

-Sharing playground ideas and stories on a digital platform. Creating live digital hub and using social media to track what is carried out and developed in different playgrounds.

-Promotes sharing of ideas and use of digital platforms. Digital hub can be created using platforms already developed within Bristol.

-Using play deas developed by children in primary and secondary schools.

Why the contribution is important

Because collectively we can make lasting difference to a generation.

-Through using playground as a means of community development, address a variety of existing social, economic environmental issues in our city.

-Through playground development and usage, we are planning ahead to meet needs of future generations. As playground will develop skills of young people and raise their aspirations, particularly in disadvantaged areas. This will effectively reduce  the number of adults in future generations who are unemployed, uneducated and living in poverty or crime. In doing so, also reduce future costs to the economy to provide for people in these situations.

-Through utilising community to mobilise change, will help remove barriers to change.

-Creates opportunities for entire community to get involved and inspires dreams and ideas.

Aligned with Bristol 2020 vision.

Address all four outcomes identified in destination Bristol 2020 plans (three actions within plan shared with Local Enterprise Partnership)

For Example-

Outcome 3-Provides solution to Bristol 2020 plans to create a city of strong and safer communities, through providing; sustainable, cohesive community space. Strengthening volunteering in the community. Also promotes equality through neighbourhoods within the city.

Outcome 4-Planning ahead to meet needs of future generations. Addresses existing trends of with young people in community, such as disengagement, lack of aspirations and. Through providing them with opportunity to be involved in development and building of playground, effectively raising aspirations and achievements of children, young people and families within community. Individuals and communities encouraged and empowered to dream and aspire to do greater things, through creativity fostered while playing

Cost cutting

Utilises businesses in city. Business able to volunteer time and skills as they engage in community project, but also provide funding to support development and build of playground. Utilises volunteers with community, through volunteering costs associated will be reduced

Combines existing social enterprise, businesses, social development and charitable organisations. Through collaborating, will work more efficiently and reduce cost associated with project.

To be sustained by funding from businesses, UK technology grants, and possibly crowd funding. Possible opportunity to use funding from existing wellbeing grants and community assets if playground meets neighbourhood needs.

Promotes Engagement

Encourages the younger generation to share ideas and from groups they are typically disengaged with-the older generations and the more experienced people in businesses

Encourages and facilitates community that will take ownership of playground they have developed

Utilises existing expertise and experience within Bristol such as digital technology, sustainable use of materials and engineering. Utilises play projects and techniques available in Bristol such as the Bristol.


Encourages integration and address issues related to segregation in different areas of city, through sharing ideas with each other through digitally based forums.

Enables businesses to make a real and lasting change for employees and communities in 2014. 

Harnesses creativity within our city in a fun, innovative and practical manner.

Through creating network of skills and knowledge transfer, people and organisations can work more effectively together and change generation.

Facilitates collaboration and integration between 14 neighbourhood partnerships


Meets global needs, everyone needs to play. Project is aligned with United Nations millennium development goals such as for child development and eradication of poverty.

Unlocking potential as skills are developed and transferred by individuals and businesses.

by user599955 on December 18, 2013 at 11:58PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 22 votes


  • Posted by user176655 December 20, 2013 at 11:29

    Working within the professional / corporate world at which this project idea will need to be pitched for funding it seems to me to be something that would get significant interest from companies wishing to make a positive difference to the City. Inevitably this would be in part driven by a desire to tick CSR boxes but also there is a genuine appetite to utilise personnel resources as well as financial ones and the ability to 'adopt' an area of land and help convert it into recreation space would be attractive.

    The benefits to the local environments and the young people living there are obvious and the idea also correlates very well with the Green Capital status soon to be upon us.
  • Posted by user814537 December 21, 2013 at 13:46

    Great idea. There is a lot for people to do in the city, but not a lot of things you can do for free!

    Promoting engagement, encouraging corporate social responsibility and philanthropy and making the playgrounds accessible to children and adults with learning difficulties particularly struck a chord with me.

    I would also perhaps request in the specification that the "playground" areas include some kind of sheltered area. This could be something like a basketball hoop that's not exposed to the rain etc, or indoor apparatus - we do live in England after all, and don't want it to be a fair weather thing only!

    Might also be worth playing (quiet) music in these playgrounds - there have been studies whereby if there is classical music playing in parks then antisocial behaviour attraction is likely to be lower.

    Great idea, hope it gets more interest.

  • Posted by user269010 December 23, 2013 at 10:50

    Seems like a well thought-out and achievable project that fits the vision of Bristol as a sustainable community orientated inclusive city.
  • Posted by user631672 December 23, 2013 at 19:11

    I really like this idea. Coming from a youth work background, I would particularly advocate (like you have mentioned) youth engagement in the project.

    Areas that young people in the community have also co-created (sat down with the designers/architechts/engineers etc.) and helped to build should help to foster a sense of ownership and responsibility.

    When I read this, it also reminded me of this guy here:
  • Posted by user856142 December 26, 2013 at 17:26

    Great idea and I definitely agree that children need to play as a fundamental part of both learning and growing. The design of each play space and community involvement from the outset will be fundamental to making a scheme like this effective.

    Despite being a culturally diverse city there is still much geographical segregation within Bristol and this may be a scheme that brings together different cultures, backgrounds and communities.

    Each playground will need a community engaged, designer guided 'out of the box' solution in a central location in each community. Community involvement will be critical - local residents need to take ownership of each playground for it to have a long term positive effect.

  • Posted by user397019 December 28, 2013 at 14:10

    Great idea. I'm especially interested at the link you are aiming to create between CSR and child development.

    Studies have proven that play is critical in childrens' development, specifically in those from deprived communities. However, the same applies with children from all communities or households which do not have the "ideal" household where they are brought up by parents in the same house, develop healthy and fruitful relationships with their siblings etc.

    It's also a sustainable idea. One thing you may come across is with those companies who are just trying to tick the CSR box, and therefore may not provide long term support, whether this be funding or otherwise. However, there are many SMEs who do are committed to engaging in long term projects where they can work towards a collaborative goal, and also provide funding to support the project.

    In general, this is a great way to involve and encourage child development, youth participation and business' participation.
  • Posted by user928110 January 02, 2014 at 16:18

    This is a great idea. Id be happy to support.
  • Posted by user411287 January 02, 2014 at 16:30

    I feel this is a superb idea and would defiantly have a long lasting effect within underprivileged and areas in Bristol.

    From a Business standpoint I particularly feel the CSR initiative and corporate philanthropy would generate a lot of interest for a wide range of companies. I would also recommend that a higher priority is given to smaller indigenous organisations within Bristol to participate in the project to generate local community development, which will not be overshadowed by big corporate organisations.

    The idea epitomises what sustainability is all about provided the playgrounds are well maintained. Going to play in my local playground growing up was a major part of my life and gave me the chance to interact with other kids and be free!!
  • Posted by user437281 January 13, 2014 at 11:08

    This is a well thought out idea and is brilliant in the fact it has multiple benefits. I think its an area which has been neglected for far too long. Communities would really benefit from a playground such as this. It gives youth something to do which may keep them out of trouble, will promote greater community engagement and also promote Bristols 2020 vision. Great idea, lets get it done!
  • Posted by user229310 February 02, 2014 at 19:08

    Great idea for bringing communities together and for giving children/young people a safe and interesting place to hang out!
  • Posted by user753288 February 24, 2014 at 13:49

    Fantastic Idea! It's always good to get that community spirit back again!

    This is a very well thought out proposal and the benefits to both communities and business are quite obvious.

    Got my vote!
  • Posted by user171474 March 10, 2014 at 21:07

    Good systems thinking. Worth identifying means as to how to maintain quality and safety.
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