Playing is an essential part of childhood as it is crucial for children’s development. It is a child’s fundamental right to play and designers have important role for providing such conducive environment. The subjective affordances provided by the space can be considered as indicator to evaluate the creative opportunities of the spatial layout. The urban play areas are majorly laden with equipment, and not much attention is paid to rest of the areas. These equipments are based on a stagnant perception of play which requires no maintenance or supervision whereas the nature of children is of unstructured play which allows the scope of discovery, exploration, creativity and risk taking. This study aims to investigate the diversity of play affordances for children’s creative development in natural play spaces and equipment-based play spaces in urban residential areas. The methodology consists of (a) identifying and comparing the subjective affordances of four different play spaces in residential areas using behavioural mapping and (b) questionnaire survey of children taking their view of play spaces into account. The results indicate positive correlation between creativity quotient and natural elements. However, the study also indicates lack of creative play areas in the overall space design which corresponds to lower creativity in children. This study will further help the landscape architects, designers, planners and policy makers to develop outdoor play spaces which inspire the creative relationship of children and nature for a holistic development.
Ar. Richa Raje is a Landscape Architect and an academician and has been associated with the Department of Landscape at School of Planning and Architecture Bhopal from past three years. Prior to this she has gathered field experience, while working with M/s Prabhakar B Bhagwat on various projects from inception to execution. Her area of focus lies in designing with plant material, site planning and design development for green areas. She is currently pursuing her research on outdoor thermal comfort using landscape strategies, designing outdoor play-spaces as learning environments and creating sustainable urban transformation model for redevelopment. She aims to bridge the gap between academic learning and the profession’s pragmatic constraints. Ar. Tanya Kansal is currently a student of Masters in Landscape Architecture at School of Planning and Architecture Bhopal. She has completed her Bachelors in Architecture from Faculty of Architecture (G.C.A.), Lucknow. She has worked on landscape design of a primary school while interning with Nirmitee Landscape Consultants, Bengaluru. Earlier she had worked on Ministry of Tourism Project of a tourist circuit in Rajasthan with MNIT, Jaipur. Her research interest is in designing outdoor play spaces for children’s development, designing public spaces incorporating multisensory aspects and exploring cultural narratives of spaces.