Who do I contact for more information?

Children’s Play in the Squares
Name: Ray Scheuboeck
Title: Recreation Planner
Phone: 8203 7688
Email Address: r.scheuboeck@adelaidecitycouncil.com

Public Toilet in Hurtle Square
Name: Julia Smethurst
Title: Building Assets Officer
Phone: 8203 7799
Email Address: j.smethurst@adelaidecitycouncil.com

Stage 2

What is a children’s playspace?

For the purposes of the engagement, a ‘playspace’ is defined as an outdoor area of public space, with or without play equipment, specifically designed and intended for free unstructured children’s play.

How will the Play in the Squares be funded?

Play in the Squares will be funded through Council’s annual Capital Works budget. Feedback received will inform the extent of works proposed and subsequently inform any future budget bids for consideration by Council (the Elected Members).


Will the Squares or play areas be fenced?

Council heard from the community that there are concerns about introducing children’s play in the Squares, due to the surrounding traffic. Council also heard that some families are already using the Squares for recreation. It is Council’s preference to minimise the need for fencing of children’s play areas in the City, except where it is to support access for all.

Any provision of fencing or other safety features/barriers will be informed by feedback received through this consultation process.

Why are we providing children’s play in the City?

Children make up an important part of the City fabric and play is critical to their healthy development. Growing up in a city environment, many children living in the City do not have as much access to private open space as other children living in the suburbs. Therefore, a welcoming local open space is paramount to children being regularly active outdoors. 

Young children are also increasingly cared for by grandparents. Therefore, whilst some children may not live in the City, they may spend a considerable amount of time in the City with a carer. Having a space for children to actively play outdoors is commonly sought after by carers.

Will playspaces still be provided in the surrounding Park Lands?

Yes. Playspaces in the Park Lands will still be provided for residents and visitors of the City. However, the Squares can play a different role in serving as local parks for residents of the City. Typically, a local park is provided within a short walking distance of residents (e.g. between 300m and 500m).  Wellington, Whitmore and Hurtle Squares are ideally located to serve as local parks and therefore Council is exploring ways to provide local play opportunities for families with young children.


What types of play features are being considered?

The types of play elements will be informed by this consultation. Council has previously heard that the community is not strongly in favour of purely nature based play in the Squares, nor is it appropriate to install standard play equipment. 

Council is seeking your feedback on an array of images containing play features that we believe could provide play opportunities whilst also contributing to the amenity of the Squares as local places for residents to enjoy.


How were these Squares selected?

Council’s Active City Strategy (2013-2023) identified Wellington, Whitmore and Hurtle Squares as spaces that could contain local play opportunities for City residents. They are ideally located to serve as local parks within walking distance of people living in North Adelaide, the South West and the South East residential areas of the City.

Will the existing landscape of the Squares by changed?

Ideally, any introduction of children’s play will utilise the existing landscape and complement the layout of each Square.

What is the intended age range for the children’s play in the Squares?

As a local playspace, the intention is to provide play opportunities for families with young children (pre-school and early primary).


Will car parking be increased around the Squares?

No. As local parks servicing residents within walking distance, Council does not intend to provide any additional car parking around the respective Squares.


Is the toilet proposed for Hurtle Square part of the plan to provide children’s play in this Square?

No. The provision of children’s play and a public toilet in Hurtle Square are unrelated. Therefore, supporting one proposal does not mean you are supporting the other.

Why is a public toilet being considered for Hurtle Square?

Council have identified that public toilets should be placed at regular intervals across the city with a focus on greater provision in high pedestrian and significant city places.  Currently, there are no public toilets servicing this general area.  An increase in activation in the local area is expected to increase demand for this facility in the area.


Where is a toilet being considered for Hurtle Square?

Feedback is being sought from the local community on preferred locations for a public toilet, be it close to public transport or within activated areas of the Square.


What hours is the toilet expected to operate?

Generally, public toilets are closed between 10pm and 6am, unless there are specific demand and support for them to remain open outside of these hours.


What are the benefits of providing public toilets?

Public toilets contribute to the life of the City in the following ways:

A positive City experience
Providing and maintaining a network of safe, accessible, clean and well-designed toilets can play a part in creating an enjoyable city experience. Public toilets support well-managed events, recreation and activities and enable ease of daily life in city streets and public places.  The provision of public toilets contributes to the amenity of places with high pedestrian traffic and late night entertainment areas.

A healthy City
Council supports a healthy city community through a range of measures to promote health and wellbeing while minimising disease and illness. Experience has shown that where there are no facilities, people will use the public realm as a public convenience.  Provision of public toilets, therefore, ensures that the streets are cleaner and the risk of public health issues is reduced.

A safer City
Well-maintained public toilets contribute to a perception of safety and a well-managed public realm.  People feel more confident using toilets that are well-designed for safety, clean and pleasant to use.


Stage 1

What is nature play?

‘Nature play’ is generally regarded as unstructured outdoor play that is undertaken in a natural setting. Research across the world has found that this type of play is essential to the physical, mental and emotional health and well-being of children. Immersion in nature has also been associated with a number of health benefits for children, such as improved cognitive function, increased creativity, and improved interaction with adults, reduced attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms and enhanced mental health and emotional well-being . Through nature based play, unique sensory experiences can also be offered, which is often important in forming creative and imaginative play. It is this type of play where children will usually spend most time interacting with other children.


What is a playspace?

For the purposes of the Action Plan, a ‘playspace’ is defined as an outdoor area of public space –with or without play equipment – specifically intended for free unstructured children’s play . The space can include formal playground equipment, large areas of open space, landscaping, or natural features . While a playground structure can be part of a playspace, usually including play equipment, landscaping, fall zones and edging, the space for children to play, learn and explore can be far greater than just a playground.


Where will playspaces be located in the future?

Refer to this map/document for the proposed future location of playspaces and play opportunities in the City of Adelaide.


Where can I find a summary of what is planned for each of the current playspaces and any new ones?

Refer to this document for an overview of the proposed vision for existing and future playspaces in the City of Adelaide

How will the Action Plan be funded?

Council will continue to fund the installation and development of playspaces in a staged approach through the provision of ongoing maintenance, asset renewal and enhancement budgets as part of the annual business plan and budget process. There are also a number of co-creation opportunities that will be explored for the initial outlay and ongoing maintenance of playspaces, including exploring external funding opportunities with State and Federal agencies, adjoining Council’s, local schools, property developers and community and commercial organisations to ensure a high standard of playspaces across the City.


Who will deliver the Action Plan and by when?

Adelaide City Council will lead the delivery of the Children’s Play Action Plan in partnership with the community, key stakeholders and external partners including adjoining Council’s, state and federal government agencies, schools, community groups, developers and organisations. Once finalised, the Action Plan document will set out priority actions to be implemented in a staged approach, subject to funding, over a 10 year period (2015-25). The draft Action Plan sets out the proposed timeframes for the delivery of each key action / project.

How have the key actions been prioritised?

The draft Action Plan sets out actions to be implemented over a staged approach, subject to funding and community feedback. The timing of the actions have been proposed based on the current asset condition of each existing playspace, future works planned in the area, and the level of importance in terms of community need.

What impact will the Action Plan have on the Park Lands?

The draft Action Plan proposes a number of key actions that seek better utilisation of the Park Lands and Squares. In particular it recommends that any future playspace enhancements take into account the natural landform and surrounding park setting in the planning and concept design processes, as well as any applicable heritage considerations of the playspace and/or associated buildings/structures. Wherever possible, it is recommend to locate playspaces within Activity Hubs to reduce any unnecessary impact on the natural park setting; it also recommends to use natural materials and assets such as trees for shade. It also recommends that playspace in the Park Lands are located next to supporting amenities and connected to the Park Lands trail network to enhance accessibility.

Why are play opportunities proposed for City Squares? Will all Squares have play elements?

Currently most of the Squares and the Riverbank lack formal invitations or facilities for play which means there are limited local play opportunities (within a 5 minute walk) for a large proportion of the City’s residential areas. Whitmore Square has already experienced success through the provision of recreation facilities such as the 3 on 3 basketball court, which has demonstrated that people want to and will undertake activity in their local squares. Similarly, the redeveloped northern end of Victoria Square now boasts play features including a water fountain and sandpit. Providing play elements in some of the City squares could help fill a current gap in the provision of local play opportunities for City residents. Whitmore, Hurtle and Wellington Squares have been earmarked as potential sites for local play opportunities. As part of this consultation, Council is keen for feedback from the local community regarding the need and design for local play in these Squares, including what kind of supporting amenities the community would like included.

If feedback from the community is supportive of the local play opportunities in City squares, the draft Action Plan recommends that play elements are specifically designed as part of the broader use and location of each square, and respond to and reflect the physical social, cultural and heritage value and unique setting and character of the squares and surrounding environment.