Choice and compromise : decision-making by play park providers and its impact on play value in local play parks

Parker, R 2018, Choice and compromise : decision-making by play park providers and its impact on play value in local play parks , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Play parks are key spaces within children’s geographies; play a valued childhood activity which is facilitated and controlled by adults. The significance of outdoor play indicates a requirement for high-quality provision, delivering play value, challenge and risk. This PhD investigation aims to understand the influences on decision-making by those involved in creating play parks and how this influenced provision. Adopting a mixed method approach this investigation commenced with an initial investigation comprising of 20 site surveys in Lincolnshire. This informed the main investigation that evaluated eight case study sites in England through semi-structured interviews with providers and site evaluations. To support data collection the Play Park Evaluation Tool (PPET) was developed ensuring consistent data collection. To illustrate the findings an infographic was created to enable visual representation of the play value data appraising this through three key aspects of provision: accessibility, usability and play value.

The literature review highlighted the disparity of knowledge and understanding of key aspects of play park provision, and this was reflected in the results of this investigation. Providers lack sufficient knowledge or information to support the universal provision of high-quality play parks. Their limited understanding of key concepts an identified barrier to the provision of inclusive play parks. Also identified is a disconnect between the provision of these child-focussed facilities and their end users. Play parks often created without the active involvement of key user groups, through adult-facilitated and focused consultations. Findings indicate play value and inclusive play are considered as discrete characteristics.

Outcomes of this investigation include the PPET and infographic offering those creating play parks the tools to evaluate provision and to illustrate this in an accessible manner. Additionally, the synthesis of data on consultation methods into a table offering a proposed timescale supported by suggested consultation methods promotes the active involvement of end users.

Moving forward the challenge is to embed inclusive provision within the concept of play value promoting the universal establishment of accessible, inclusive play parks offering high play value.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Al-Maiyah, SAM (Supervisor), Newton, RA (Supervisor) and Ormerod, MG (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Depositing User: R Parker
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2018 14:59
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:54

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