WRPA 2019 Annual Conference and Tradeshow



Trends in Play Space Design 

Thursday, April 11 | 9:00am - 10:15am 

Session Description:

Boring playgrounds are just as likely to be abused as ignored. You can lead kids to a playground, but you can't make them play. A great playground will not only support physical activity but also foster multi-generational interaction, creative place-making, and economic impact. Discover the key components influencing the needs and desires of designers, planners and users in creating innovative play environments. In this session, participants will examine playground trends that create kid magnets, that facilitate multi-generational interaction, or signature play environments that tell a community story and return economic impact. Participants will be able to utilize this knowledge to vision, plan, and budget for successful playgrounds that best serve their communities well into the future.

  • Identify leading trends in play space design and the external influences driving these trends.
  • Articulate the benefits to communities including social equity, economic impact and multi-generational engagement.
  • Understand a collaborative design process, public-private partnerships that engage the public, plan and budget appropriately, and write specifications that ultimately result in successful, signature play environments.


John McConkey, Market Research and Insights Manager, Landscape Structures
John Mullan, President & Sales Representative, PlayCreation

About the Speakers:

John brings more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare field and offers a unique perspective on inclusion, health, fitness, and children’s play on the playground. John researches and tracks societal and industry trends to help create innovative playground design solutions. The focus of his recent programs includes playground universal design and inclusion with special emphasis on sensory-rich play environments, designing playgrounds to maximize physical activity, reconnecting children with nature, and designing literacy-rich play environments.

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