CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN PARKS AND STREET FURNITURE: Article for the Cities Forum, TECMA.
In the heart of cities, A vital space is found for the development of our children, the leisure of many families and the well-being of the community at large: The parks. These spaces have evolved over time, and it is crucial that they adapt to the changing needs of modern cities. The Cities Forum, is a key event within the TECMA fair 2024, that seeks to be a meeting point to deepen these challenges and discover new opportunities for the improvement of urban environments.
In this context, AFAMOUR (Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Urban Furniture and Playgrounds) plays a key role. Our mission is to promote the improvement and development of urban spaces through the creation of high-quality playgrounds and training that promote health., Fun and social integration. In an ever-changing environment, It is essential to carry out an assessment of the situation of playgrounds and street furniture, as well as examining new future opportunities in this field to improve urban environments.
Evaluation and new opportunities
Today, We face significant challenges in relation to playgrounds, Urban furniture and sports areas. On the one hand, We must ensure the safety of children, taking into account aspects such as the quality of materials, compliance with regulations and adaptation of facilities to different ages and abilities. On the other hand, We strive to adapt to the new trends and needs of modern cities, looking for spaces that promote social interaction, Learning, the connection with nature and the promotion of the culture of sport.
Sustainability and respect for the environment have become fundamental pillars in the design and construction of urban furniture. Our partner companies strive to use recyclable and environmentally friendly materials, Reduce energy consumption and encourage the reuse and recycling of items used in your projects. The use of recycled packaging in the construction of park facilities and urban recreation areas is an increasingly widespread trend in these environments.. The future looks very encouraging. There is a perception of transformation and rejuvenation, which is reflected in the commitment of the companies. We are all aligned and we will not stop on this path.
On the other hand, Universal accessibility is one of our priorities. Public policies related to accessibility have experienced a remarkable development in recent decades. Order TMA/851/2021 develops the basic conditions of accessibility and non-discrimination for access to and use of urbanized public spaces, taking into account fundamentally the accesses to them.
AFAMOUR, therefore, has a significant role in this regard, because it brings together and represents the companies that design and manufacture the spaces themselves and not only the environments or accesses. Well, it is all the elements that have to be destined to be integrated into public spaces, to ensure that these are accessible to all people, regardless of your physical or cognitive abilities.
The game, A universal language
Participating in children's life, It also means contributing to the socialization and maturation of children through safe play elements.. It is essential that companies help spread the basic criteria of universal accessibility in urbanized spaces. Given that there are still many different barriers that people with disabilities encounter that prevent their social inclusion and the companies and associations involved must face this challenge by making concrete commitments to universal accessibility..
We can not forget that both the game, such as outdoor leisure in parks, are fundamental activities for physical development, mental and social people. Play is a universal language that brings pleasure, Freedom of choice and creative challenge. Not limited to childhood, since this socialization, leaves a trace in the human being, that accompanies adults throughout life. In addition, Play in parks promotes empathy and emotional intelligence. It is vital to preserve time outdoors for healthy growth of children and adults.
Playgrounds foster a sense of community and belonging, and allow children to develop physical skills, cooperate, Make friends and learn to face challenges. Public spaces equipped with training elements provide the opportunity to perform physical exercise for free; I mean, Affordable and accessible to all, Encouraged social interaction and health care, and promoting an active lifestyle. At the same time, aquatic areas,are becoming an increasingly relevant resource in cities, especially during the summer months, since, In addition to providing a refreshing and fun experience, contribute to alleviating high temperatures and promoting social cohesion.
For all the above, events such as the Forum of the Cities of Madrid and the TECMA fair are vital to promote the exchange of ideas, Projects and visions on the path that cities should follow to become more habitable spaces, Sustainable, Inclusive, Participatory and resilient. AFAMOUR, through its commitment to quality, Sustainability, Accessibility and innovation, continues to work on the advancement of playgrounds and street furniture in Spain.
We greatly value these meeting opportunities that allow us to strengthen alliances, generate synergies and work together in building urban environments that provide children and the wider community with a safe and stimulating place to live and grow.