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Landscape architects launch My Park Rules competition

Landscape architects launch My Park Rules competition
December 2, 2015

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) in collaboration with 202020 Vision, has launched My Park Rules, a national competition that aims to encourage school groups, parents and communities to apply to have an under-loved park transformed and a greener future.

Born out of reality TV makeover shows the initiative aims to help instigate major improvements to school and community playgrounds and parks across Australia.

The national competition is part of a wider push to attract more attention and community pressure to create better urban parks and play spaces as development and population pressures increasingly put a premium on public open space.

A frequent criticism of poor developments and urban renewal projects is that public parks and green spaces often come as an underfunded afterthought to major projects, and then go on to create serious social, environmental and health problems down the track.

One answer to that challenge is to foster direct community input and participation in creating and improving play and green spaces by engaging users in the design process and getting the community to think critically about available options.

Under the My Park Rules competition, entries will be assessed by an eminent panel of urban experts and academics including Committee for Sydney Chair Lucy Hughes Turnbull, landscape architect and play planner Mary Jeavons, environmental scientist Josh Byrne, Aspect Studios Director Sacha Coles, Associate Professor at the University of Western Sydney Tonia Gray and ‘place making’ advocate Kylie Legge.

ALIA Chief Executive Shahana McKenzie, said the project and competition was about much more than just giving a winning school or group a prize for coming up with the best entry.

McKenzie explained “it’s about getting schools and communities in Australia to rally together and seriously consider the importance of well-designed outdoor spaces for their wellbeing, today and in the future.”

Phillip Spratt, President of the Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACCSO), which is backing the My Park Rules competition, argues that well designed spaces foster inclusivity across both education and the wider community.

Spratt explains “well-designed green spaces in schools are a vital resource – giving kids a real connection to the environment they live in and the community that supports their learning.

“My Park Rules is a great opportunity for a school and its community to work together and create a lasting legacy for their school.”

AILA has secured significant support for this project with most State Governments supporting the program, as well as AILA Partners Lappset Australia, Austral Bricks, Austral Masonry, Street Furniture Australia, Intergrain, Lawn Solutions Australia, Fleming’s Nurseries and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Competition entries are open until 6th December with voting currently underway. Public voting closes on 8th December with a winner, to be announced on 1st May next year, to be drawn from a list of seven finalists.

For more information go to www.myparkrules.com.au

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