Universal Design: Playgrounds for Everyone! ($100,000)

1-2 playgrounds to be determined by community process

Universal Design playground equipment is designed to be usable by everyone without special adaptations or retrofitting. Let’s go beyond legally required minimum accessibility standards to ensure our playgrounds truly welcome everyone!

Cambridge playgrounds offer many wonderful and diverse opportunities for outdoor play, but we need to do more to create spaces where people of all physical abilities can play together. Cambridge is home to thousands of people living with disabilities—estimates range from 7,500 to 13,000—and these neighbors would greatly benefit from increased opportunities to play outdoors with family and friends.

The Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities has long advocated for Universal Design (UD), also called human-centered design, in public playspaces. Rather than using separate, specialized equipment for individuals with disabilities, UD principles envision thoughtfully-designed playgrounds with features that can be used by everyone in multiple, creative ways.

So many members of our community can benefit from inclusive playground features: parents and grandparents can play alongside their children on equipment designed for a wide range of ages and body sizes; siblings and classmates with different physical abilities can easily play together on the same structures; and those with injuries or other physical limitations are not relegated to the sidelines.

This proposal would provide funds for the City to add Universal Design features to one or more existing playgrounds. These funds would supplement normal playground renovation budgets and would allow the City to include UD features in projects where costs might otherwise be prohibitive. The exact location(s) will be determined by a community process.

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  • commented 2016-11-25 23:57:27 -0500
    I work with children with special needs and this would be a fantastic community resource for my students and many other children. Cambridge has so many fantastic playgrounds, some of which are extremely creative and built to fit with the natural environment. But those natural elements can also make them hard to access for many – not only children with special needs, but also parents/caregivers with mobility difficulties, the very young, and seniors. I’ve long been a supporter of UD for play spaces, but as the parent of a toddler who is now selecting playgrounds based on his safety, I now see that this would also allow more mixed-age use on playgrounds.
  • published this page in Proposals (PB3) 2016-11-21 12:57:41 -0500
  • published this page in Proposals (PB3) 2016-11-21 12:48:35 -0500
  • published this page in Proposals (PB3) 2016-11-21 12:07:53 -0500

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