The children in the slums of Buenos Aires, Argentina, live in poor social circumstances and a dangerous environment. The local infrastructure is very bad. Because of this, the children often do not have good future prospects. The main goal of the PlaySpace Foundation is to offer the children in the slums a better future. To begin with, in the slums of Buenos Aires. This is accomplished by building a network of playgrounds, where children can play safely. Also other facilities, like sport facilities and educational centers are accomplished. The inhabitants and their children are involved intensively in the development and realization of the playgrounds. This is a unique way to create projects, of which the foundation can actually be found in the Netherlands
How it began
In February 2006, the argentine architect Flavio Janches shows the deplorable situation of the slums to a group of Dutch tourists. Together they start the foundation with the above described aim: the PlaySpace Foundation.
The urban design strategy
The initiative of facilities for children is founded in research from the Netherlands, according to an urban design strategy for playgrounds used in cities. This strategy achieves that the facilities are aimed at the local situation in certain areas. For example, this model has been applied in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The participation of all the inhabitants, children, and adults accomplishes that the willingness to visit the facilities like playgrounds is very high.
Generally, in the construction of children's facilities, the playing and sport attributes and elements are placed random without consideration. The design strategy followed by the PlaySpace foundation involves the local population in the design, build and use of the facilities. First, there will be evaluated where the facilities should be built, what should be put on the playgrounds and centers, and how this can be done in a safe manner. Finally, the facillities will be designed and developed, together with the inhabitants and children of the slum. Local workers will build the playgrounds, sport facilities and centers. The appeal will be most optimal to the local population and its children, because of this type of preparation and construction.
The local community is involved with the construction and profits the most, because of the nearness of the children's facilities. The varying ages of the children of the area will determine the choice of playing elements. The parents can be assured of a safe and clean area for their children to play in. In this, more safety and less clutter will help diminish the criminality, in which the children can be involved easily now.