Should cities have playgrounds for adults?

SOPHIE SPEER
Last updated 05:00 09/06/2012
playground
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ

CHILD'S PLAY: James Wall-Manning wants to introduce 'adult playgrounds'

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Playgrounds should not be just for children, the Wellington Youth Council says.

In a submission to Wellington City Council's long-term plan, the group of 20 local government-minded teens called for adult-sized play equipment in the capital.

Chairman James Wall-Manning, 17, says the group was discussing improvements to the city's parks when a council member said she had seen playground equipment designed to be used by adults in Chile.

The equipment  "a step up from swings and seesaws" included cross-trainers and exercycles, and had been created from recycled children's playground pieces.

In their submission, the youth council says the introduction of an adult playground will "create a space beyond a normal green space, which adults and parents could use for fun, exercise, health and to model good behaviours".

"The idea is combining fun and fitness to make Wellington a better place," James says.

"[It would] brighten the place up while also putting fun into exercising."

The adult play equipment could be situated together in a playground alongside children's play equipment, or along the waterfront, he says.

"It would be a unique attraction in its own right ... [and] would attract young-spirited adults from all walks of life."

While not designed to give adults a full work out, instead it would give the city an image of being healthy and encouraging of fitness, James says.

Response to the Youth Council's oral submission was positive, and while there are many important things to spend council money on, this could be a bit of fun, he says.

Councillor Justin Lester says the idea is a great initiative.

"Anything that encourages people to be out and about [is a good idea]. It would attract adults, and probably kids and families as well, and it would bring out the inner child.

"A lot of Wellingtonians are quite young at heart."

Mr Lester says there is money set aside for central city development, so the council will work out if this idea is in line with their plans for parks.

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- The Dominion Post

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