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Park designed by toddlers in the works in Belfast

The park, designed by toddlers and young children, will be inaugurated later this year

  • June 05, 2020 11:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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Source: Belfast City Council

When it comes to parks and their design, who knows better than the kids that play in them? At least that has been the thought process behind this project in Belfast, which has allowed toddlers and primary school students to help in designing a brand new park that will be inaugurated later this year.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the new realities it has forced on our societies, local authorities in the city had to begin thinking creatively when it comes to utilizing previously unused green spaces. The need for social distancing and ensuring the safety of all residents are the leading reasons for this new search for innovation in Belfast.

For children, by children

The new park will be located in a space at the city’s Cathedral Gardens that will be completely transformed into a kid-friendly zone, according to their very wishes. The new types of equipment that will be set up include a giant hamster wheel, a swinging bridge and a number of outdoor musical instruments, alongside new picnic benches meant to encourage people to spend more time in the outdoors.

The project is worth a total of 250,000 pounds and is funded by the Belfast City Council. Additional funding worth 93,000 pounds is also provided by the Department of Communities.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Frank McCoubrey stated that “After we trialled the pop-up park at Castle Place with the Department for Communities, the feedback was that people wanted to see our city streets and open spaces be a more welcoming place for children and families.

We’ve been working with the Department for Communities and the Department for Infrastructure to look at how we can reimagine our city centre as part of our emerging ‘Bolder Vision’ for Belfast.

As the current restrictions begin to ease, and we all adapt to a different way of moving around our city centre, having these safe, family-friendly open spaces will be an important part of our future resilience and recovery.”

Construction of the new park will be completed by the end of August, but due to the healthcare situation, local authorities believe that its opening will have to be delayed for some time – probably until later this year, depending on the epidemiological situation in the UK and according to government guidelines.

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