Sign up to our newsletter

Find about what we're up to with regular updates
sign up now!

Community Public realm

Swings and Roundabouts: The Play Park Ballyfermot


Continual progress is being made on the proposed Play & Skate Park at Le Fanu Lawns in Ballyfermot—a project created by the IAF in partnership with the Matheson Foundation and DCC. With news of the project entering the exciting Part 8 planning phase, the IAF team joined in the festivities at the annual sports and activity day in Ballyfermot back in August to roll out a survey with local residents.

Relational Urbanism, whose innovative design won the judges over at the Play Park competition last February 2016, have been working closely with the community and with Ballyfermot BMX Club to achieve a design that will rival some of the most prestigious skate parks in Europe. The BMX Club have expressed great anticipation for the arrival of the park, which they say will allow them to excel in their sport at a professional level.

However, the survey in August aimed to find out what kind of play furniture children and teenagers would like to see in the park upon its completion. Relational Urbanism are keen to enhance the skate elements of the park with exceptional landscaping and fun, interactive play furniture. The design duo, Enriqueta Llabres and Eduardo Rico, were eager to know what local children thought of traditional furniture such as swings and slides, versus adaptive furniture that is more explorative and built in to the natural topography of the park—such as tree-top walkways.

Children of all ages gave fascinating feedback on what they wanted to see most in the finished park. Of course there were some lofty dreams such as enchanted Disney-esque castles and elaborate water theme parks, but a dominant 70% of those surveyed agreed that a traditional swing set appealed to them more than anything too high-tech. We guess that sometimes simplicity is key!

Here are the main results of the survey presented in our Infographic. Don’t forget to check out what the most popular activity was. We at the IAF HQ would tend to agree—bring on the water fights!