Don’t Just Audit Your Playgrounds, Develop a Strategy

By Tredwell Team 10/12/2019

The Nillumbik Playground Audit and Strategy Report has been developed with a new and innovative approach to playground strategy, which considers a range of factors that go beyond the traditional analysis of condition alone. The consideration and analysis of all factors that play a role in the success of a playspace facility was undertaken, to ensure that the future state of play within the Shire of Nillumbik is highly informed and rationalised. The Nillumbik Playground Audit and Strategy Report has set a new benchmark for all future playground strategies moving forward.

The unique approach, which has seen the analysis of conditional and functional aspects of playspace design come together with the results gathered through extensive population growth research, precinct planning and gap and demand analysis has formed a clear and strategic direction for not only each individual playspace within the Shire but also the Shire as a whole.

A conditional analysis of all playspaces was undertaken which used the latest technology to analyse factors including, but not limited to each playspaces; safety, compliance and overall condition. This conditional information included never before completed tests on the condition of all Play Matta rubber surfaces through impact attenuation testing. All of the assessed factors ultimately provided a condition based remaining life for each facility.

Analysis into the overall play value of each facility was also undertaken, this unique analysis has been the first of its kind, which was completed to understand the value the playspace provides to the community. This analysed factors including; the five child developmental requirements (types of play), the sites overall accessibility, age groups catered to, the sites setting, safety and supporting infrastructure. The play value has also been linked into the Lifetime Play Framework adopted by the Shire of Nillumbik in 2017. This framework established a strategic direction for the provision of a diverse range of accessible, attractive, challenging and complementary playspaces that offer experiences for all ages and abilities within both natural and urban settings. Overall, the play value analysis has provided areas in which each playspace should be developed to better cater to young people and to develop the quality of playspace provision within the Shire.

Finally, the conditional and functional factors were compiled with in-depth strategical planning analysis which analysed playspace hierarchies and locations in order to discover areas within the Shire which are under or over-catered to in relation to current and future population statistics. This aided in driving future decisions in regard to the placement and future success of playspaces within the Shire.

Overall, the Shire of Nillumbik Playground Audit and Strategy Report has pushed the boundaries of the traditional playground strategy through the consideration of multiple factors which are critical to the success and development of not only playspaces but also the young people of today and will ensure that the Shire of Nillumbik has exceptional, functional and high quality playspace provision for years to come.


The Shire of Nillumbik Playground Audit and Strategic Report developed by

play-force and Tredwell