Longford Village Green interactive playground
Tasmania | Rural
The Community Playground is an exciting new play area and provides a valuable asset for the local community, particularly to help local families, children and young people to have access to play opportunities in a convenient and safe environment. This facility creates opportunities to increase levels of physical activity for the local community, in turn helping people to lead healthier lifestyles through participation in more play, walking, cycling and activity.
Opened to the community in September 2018 the playground establishes the first phase of development of the Bridgewater Parkland. The Community Playground covers to an area of approximately 1 hectare (c. 2.5 acres), within the context of the broader Master Plan that extends to a wider area of approximately 20 hectares (c. 49 acres).
The project demonstrates the value of having a master plan to guide the design and development of an important area of land, allowing elements of the master plan to be delivered incrementally as an interrelated series of projects. The overarching master plan covers a ten-year timeframe, as detailed in the Bridgewater Parkland Master Plan Report 2016-2026. Prepared by Brighton Council in collaboration with landscape architecture and urban design consultancy Play Street, the Master Plan report articulates a vision for the Bridgewater Parkland that provides a framework for development over a longer period.
The master planning process has ensured the best possible location of the Community Playground immediately adjacent to a ‘hub’ of community facilities at the Bridgewater Civic Centre including Bridgewater Library and the tagari lia Child and Family Centre (“tagari lia” is the Tasmanian Aboriginal word for family and is one of two Children and Family Centres being established in Tasmania under the National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development
This prominent location positioned in the heart of the residential community ensures that the playground is both visually prominent and easy to access, helping to ensure the facility is well used by local people. The central location ensures that residents and visitors can walk or cycle to the playground using foot and cycle paths that connect from within Bridgewater and are extending into the Parkland master plan area. Improving connections is important to promote active travel, which in turn increase opportunities for physical activity and support healthy lifestyles.
 Australian Government: https://www.indigenous.gov.au/tagari-lia-supporting-tasmanian-children-and-their-families
The local community and key local stakeholders have been engaged in the design and development of the Bridgewater Parkland. Community consultation events at local markets and neighbourhood centre buildings revealed a strong desire for ‘anything’ to happen. By far the most requested element was new facilities for children and adolescents. The construction of the playground shows delivery of much-needed facilities for young people and families, in the earliest stage of the master plan implementation.
The project demonstrates strong collaboration between Brighton Council and the consultant team led by Play Street, with the Council undertaking project management including the application process and Play Street developing the scheme from concept design, to master plan vision through to detailed design for the first phase of construction. The master planning commenced in 2016, an enabling grant was confirmed in 2017, with construction of phase 1 in 2018.
The Community Playground demonstrates several Design Features from the Healthy Active By Design guidance in action, including:
 Costs as stated in Brighton Council Community News, Vol 20, No 8, September 2018.