18. Inclusive Playground for All Kids

Committee: Parks, Recreation, & Education

Cost: $305,000

Location: Location to be determined through a community process

Short Description: This Universal Design playground would include equipment that is designed to be usable by everyone without special adaptations or retrofitting. This is greatly needed to create inclusive physical environments in the community.

Long Description: The Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities has long advocated for Universal Design (UD), also referred to as human-centered design. Listed below are eight examples of playground equipment that embrace the UD philosophy. Bundled together in a careful and thoughtful way, into a single City of Cambridge playground, it would comprise the City’s first fully UD playground. This is greatly needed to create inclusive physical environments in the community. The exact location of UD playground equipment will be determined through a community process. Possible locations include the Clarendon Avenue Playground and the Morse School Playground.

The Seagull:

The Seagull is a “sympathetic” swing: a child of special needs can sit on one swing seat and automatically swings by the movement and pumping of the child on the other seat.


Integration Carousel:

Specially designed to be accessible at ground level, the Integration Carousel can be enjoyed by children of all abilities. It accommodates up to two wheelchairs that are protected by the safety bars.



The Spaghettini is a very sculptural and aesthetically pleasing piece of equipment that offers upper body activities for children and adults of all ages and abilities.


Water Whirl:

The Water Whirl is meant as a focus point for pedestrian walkways or for playgrounds where people (children and adults) can admire the development of the water eddy by turning the handle at different speeds.


Floating Rock:

The Floating Rock is a natural stone that can be pushed by children and adults of all ages and abilities. By pushing the rock you will experience the weight of the rock as well as the texture and the temperature (heat and cold).


Stone Abacus:

The Stone Abacus is educational and offers with its natural rocks a touch of the natural world. To be used by users of all ages and abilities.


Distortion Mirror:

The Distortion Mirror is made of highly polished stainless steel and is fun for everybody creating convex or concave self images. Interactive for all ages.


Tilia Chimes:

The Tilia chimes are uniquely pleasant sounding and soft to the ear. They are pentatonically tuned, meaning that no matter what notes are played, they will always be pleasing.


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