Making parks more accessible

Publish Date : 07 Jun 2022
Parrs Park
Parrs Park Playground

Parks in the Waitākere Ranges Local Board area now have a guide to becoming more accessible in the future, following the adoption of key principles of accessible design in parks.

Waitākere Ranges Local Board funded an assessment of 10 of the highest-profile parks in the area by accessibility experts Be. Lab, who developed a set of key principles for universal design in parks, outlining high level improvements for the access needs community, and recommending specific actions to improve each park.

The principles are grouped around the three stages of a park visit:

  • Planning a visit to the park,
  • arriving and getting into the park, and
  • enjoying the park.

These principles will now be incorporated into the design of future parks projects, as well as having the potential for the board to fund specific actions to address key concerns raised in the assessments.

Parks accessible to all

Waitākere Ranges Local Board Chair Saffron Toms says that these areas of focus are key considerations for investing in parks that are accessible to all.

“Every person who visits one of our parks in the Waitākere Ranges area should be able to have a positive experience of their trip. The assessment provides the foundation to ensure that even people with access needs can get the most out of a visit to the park. 

“From searching online for parks, parking and physical access, to the placement and types of play equipment, the report has identified tangible and meaningful areas of focus for improving the experience for people of all ages and abilities.  

“As a board we know that making the parks more accessible is extremely important, and we are committed to ensuring that everyone can fully enjoy the benefits of spending time in our parks and green spaces.

“The three principles developed during this process will help us to guide future projects within our parks and help us to make them more welcoming places than before, ensuring everyone who wants to visit, can.

“This won’t be a quick fix. We know that it will take time, but it is an important first step in recognising the needs of all in our community and setting direction going forward.”

The ten parks selected for audit were:

Parrs Park Armour Bay and Takaranga Reserves
Titirangi Beach Reserve Harold Moody and Duck Park
Prospect Park Ceramco Park
Swanson Station Park Kaurilands Reserve
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