Designed civic spaces for children: an interdisciplinary study of playgrounds in urban and rural South Australia

Research Team: Christine Garnaut, Wendy Schiller, Anne Glover, Julie Collins, Susan Collins, Louise Bird

Formally designed playgrounds laid out following architectural, planning and landscape architecture principles and underpinned by theories of child development are a modern phenomenon. This cross-disciplinary project investigates the background to, and objectives and physical manifestation of, designed children's playgrounds in 20th century urban and rural South Australia. It identifies the design lessons that might be drawn from the historical examples and applied in contemporary practice.

Findings from the research are published as:

Bird, L. and Garnaut, C. (2010) ‘Planning for Playgrounds: Town Planning and the Supervised Children's Playground in Early Twentieth Century South Australia’, in D. Nichols, A. Hurlimann, C. Mouat and S. Pascoe, Brown Fields, Green Fields, New Fields, Proceedings of 10th Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference, University of Melbourne, February, 28-43.

Collins, J., Lustri, S., Bird, L and Garnaut, C (2010) ‘Civic Spaces for Children: playground design in twentieth century South Australia’, Journal of the Historical Society of South Australia, no.38, pp.73-92.

Funded by a University of South Australia, Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences Research Performance Fund Grant, with industry partners Oxigen Landscape Architects + Urban Designers and Lady Gowrie Child Centre, Adelaide.