Public playground for under-5s in Hanoi

Hanoi city centre lacks playgrounds in general. The playgrounds it does have tend to be dominated by older children, meaning that younger children – and children with disabilities – lack safe public places to play.

The project will design a playground for under-5s, which will also be accessible to children with disabilities. As well as serving local parents and children, it will raise awareness of the need in other parts of the city for similar natural, accessible, safe public spaces that encourage free play for younger children and those with disabilities.

Update on the project

Artist's impression of the planned playground

Update, October 2017: Construction has started at the chosen site, located at Ngo 178, Quan Nhan, Nhan Chinh district. The playground’s design incorporates existing trees on the site, and adds sand and play equipment to be constructed from local materials. The architect’s design was informed by consultations with local community members and specialists in young children and autism, and it was approved by the local government in September 2017.

Play equipment being constructed from local materials

The choice of site was informed not only by the crowdedness of the neighbourhoods and its lack of existing play areas, but by the strength of the community, with a traditional Vietnamese village culture; the effectiveness of the community’s Youth Union, which organises activities for local children; and the supportiveness of the local government. Together, these offer strong potential for protecting the playground and ensuring its sustainability, providing an example to promote to other parts of Hanoi.

Update, November, 2017: The playground was officially opened in late November. You can see local children enjoying their play in this YouTube video.

What is achieved?

Initial scepticism from locals about the choice of materials for the playground – such as timber, rope and used tyres – seems now to have been fully overcome. The playground is popular with young children and their parents and grandparents, and the drug addicts who used to frequent the area have moved elsewhere. The local government and district Youth Union have formally agreed to be responsible for maintenance.