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7Cs on the ground : process of design for an outdoor play space at a child care centre in Vancouver Nicholls, Jamie Peter 2007

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7Cs ON THE GROUND: process of design for an outdoor play space at child care centre in Vancouver. by JAMIE PETER NICHOLLS BFA, The University of Victoria, 1995 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R OF LA N D S CA P E ARCHITECTURE in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Landscape Architecture) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A January 2007 ©Jamie Peter Nicholls, 2007 Abstract This thesis attempts to describe the process and elements o f des ign for the outdoor yard o f a l icensed group c h i l d care centre located on Vancouver B o a r d o f Parks property. It explores the case o f a proact ive, act ion research method appl ied to a des ign prob lem in the pub l i c rea lm. It proposes a course o f act ion for the site researched in the study and to the process o f des ign ing outdoor environments for early ch i l dhood . CONTENTS ABSTRACT II ILLUSTRATIONS VIII PROLOGUE VII ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS VIII 1. INTRODUCTION 1 2. INTENT 5 2.1 RESEARCH QUESTIONS 5 2.2 DEFINITION OF TERMS 6 2.2.1 Definition of the Seven C's 8 2.3 LIMITATIONS 9 2.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY 10 2.5 DESCRIPTION OF SITE 11 2.5.1 Site Context 11 2.5.2 Site History 12 2.5.3 History of the institution of child care in parks 15 2.5.4 The physical site 19 3.1 ASSUMPTIONS AND RATIONALE FOR THE QUALITATIVE PARADIGM OF STUDY 21 3.2 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH STRATEGY 22 3.3 ROLES OF THE RESEARCHER 23 3.3.1 Designer 23 3.3.2 Advocate 23 3.3.3 Observer 24 3.3.4 Participant 24 3.3.5 Investigator 24 3.4 DATA COLLECTION PROCEDURE 25 3.5 DATA RECORDING PROCEDURES 26 3.5.1 Field Observations 26 3.5.2 Video Observation 26 3.5.3 One hour focused Interview with staff 26 3.5.4 Workshop Discussions 27 3.5.5 Design meeting notes 27 3.5.6 Historical Information 27 3.5.7 Hansard Transcripts 28 3.5.8 Precedent Studies and sites 28 3.6 DATA ANALYSIS PROCEDURES 29 3.6.1 Field Observation and The Seven C's 29 3.6.2 Video and Anecdotal notes of Children at play 29 3.6.3 One hour Focused Interview 30 3.6.4 Design Meeting notes 30 3.6.5 Historical Information from archives and Hansard 30 3.6.6 Precedent studies and sites 31 3.7 STRATEGIES FOR VALIDATING FINDINGS 31 3.7.1 Audibility 31 3.7.2 Critical validity 31 3.8 PROCESS OF DISCOVERY-CHRONOLOGY 32 3.8.1 Joining and Familiarisation with Outside Criteria 32 3.8.2 Births 32 3.8.3 First design iteration and communication of the participatory model 33 3.8.4 Obstacles: the safe spaces grant 33 3.8.5 International Conference and the end of design duties 34 3.8.6 Design Committee deliberations 35 3.8.7 Drafting of the Official Plan 35 3.8.8 Removal of climber and the future of the site 35 3.8.9 Final Iteration 36 4. FINDINGS 37 4.1 FINDINGS FROM THE PHYSICAL SITE 37 4.1.1 Challenges of Topography 37 4.1.2 Lack of tactile vegetation and qualities of change in the yard 38 4.1.3 Lack of Spatial Definition and Clarity 38 4.1.4 The problem of Re-Use elements 39 4.1.5 Ground Plane materials 40 4.2 FINDINGS FROM THE LITERATURE 40 4.2.1 Sequence of Development 40 4.2.2 Environment, Play and Development 42 4.2.3 Play and its role in Language Development 44 4.2.4 Language development and environment 45 4.2.5 Analytical models of outdoor spaces for early childhood 46 4.2.6 Precedent Sites 47 4.3 FINDINGS FROM VIDEO OBSERVATION 50 4.3.1 Sequence of development not designed for in the space 51 4.3.2 Spaces for interaction: subspaces, malleable materials and loose parts 52 4.3.3 Organic elements create opportunities for language exchange 52 4.4 EXPLORATIONS IN THE WAY THE CS OPERATE- THE MECHANICS OF THE SEVEN CS 53 4.4.1 Change and Chance work together to define subspaces and outdoor rooms 53 4.4.2 Context and Clarity help define Character 53 4.4.3 Character is the vehicle which binds all the elements of the criteria together 54 4.5 OBSTACLES FROM THE PLANNING PROCESS 54 4.5.1 Different approaches to playground design not well understood 54 4.5.2 Participatory model requires designers/planners with special training and skills 55 4.5.3 Frame of Safety 55 4.5.4 Differences in Institutional Cultures 57 4.5.5 Issues of time in the design process 59 4.5.6 Costs of materials and labour 59 5. SITE DESIGN AND PROPOSALS FOR ACTION 61 5.1 DESIGN PROPOSAL 61 5.1.1 Design Intent 61 5.1.2 Internal logic of the design 61 5.1.3 The new subspaces explained 63 5.1.4 Circulation devices 67 iv 5.2 INCORPORATION OF MEMORY IN DESIGN PROCESS 68 5.2.1 The incorporation of the designer's memories of play into this design 68 5.2.2 The incorporation of memory of site and memory of institutions 69 5.3 SUGGESTED CHANGES TO DESIGN PROCESS AND SPATIAL PLANNING IN DAYCARE 69 5.3.1 Prochaska's model for Change 69 5.3.2 The Reggio Emilia Environmental planning model 72 5.4 CONCLUSION 73 Illustration 1. The Final Proposed Site Plan 76 Illustration 2. The Proposed Planting Plan 76 Illustration 3. The existing vegetation on the site 78 Illustration 4. Existing Tactile vegetation on the Site 78 APPENDIX A 91 APPENDIX B 92 APPENDIX C 93 APPENDIX D 94 APPENDIX E ......95 V Illustrations I l lustration 1. The F ina l Proposed Site P lan Il lustration 2. Proposed P lant ing P lan Il lustration 3. Ex i s t i ng Vegetat ion Il lustration 4. Ex i s t i ng Tact i le Vegetat ion I l lustration 5. V i e w o f Site f r om the North 1974, 2006 Il lustration 6. V i e w o f Site f rom Southwest 1974, 2006 Prologue Memor ies o f one 's p lay i n ch i ldhood are a power fu l too l to deve lop empathy w i t h today 's chi ldren. Part icipants i n the research, when reca l l ing their o w n ch i l dhood experiences, saw the need for our des ign cr i ter ia as the opportunit ies for p lay that were avai lable to them are rare for today 's ch i ldren. I grew up in a t own ca l led Saint-Lazare. It is a unique landscape i n Southwestern Quebec, formed by the movements o f glaciers. The co lon iz ing pine forest was set over a ro l l i ng topography that contained f ie lds o f sand deposited dur ing the C h a m p l a i n sea per iod fo l l ow ing the end o f W i s cons i n glac iat ion. Th i s landscape is carr ied inside o f me ; it has helped make me what I am. The town is k n o w n as a horse breeder 's commun i t y and once housed the Mont rea l Hunt . Therefore the preservation o f forest trails has a lways been a value o f o ld inhabitants. A s a ch i l d I rode m y b ike on these trai ls, p layed i n the sand pits, swam in the water i n the sand quarries and spent most o f m y ch i l dhood outdoors. These memories cause me a larm when I compare them w i th the cond i t ion o f ch i l dhood play today. They motivate me in des ign and act ion. A s a father, I want m y daughter to have the same opportunity to experience the landscape as I d id . C h i l d care practit ioners, as w e l l , express a fondness for the landscapes o f their youth (Workshop notes, 2004) . M e m o r y o f these places can serve us to create better places for ch i ldren and to consider them as fu l l participants i n our environments. Acknowledgements Thanks to my thesis advisor and mentor, Susan Herrington, for your constant support, understanding, wealth of knowledge, clarity, motivation and dedication to this project and to children in general. Thank you for standing by me and helping me. Thank you to Kate Stefiuk, Chandra Lesmeister and Al ison Maddaugh for enduring countless hours with me and helping me through these past 3 years and showing empathy and compassion constantly. Thanks also go to the faculty at the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture-each of you have helped me along the way. Thank you to my mother who helped support me through my years at U B C . Thanks to Nuray, I know it took a long time to finish but I couldn't have done it without you, my love. To my beautiful daughter Pera, you have inspired me in ways that I could not have imagined during this period, thank you. To Russ and L i z , thank you for believing in our research. Thank you to Pam Best at Westcoast Chi ld care resources for supporting us. Thanks to Mar i Pighini for expanding my knowledge about child development and observing children. Finally, to the folks at the centre in this study, the children and educators, thank you for your enthusiasm. viii 1. I n t r o d u c t i o n My research examines the condition and quality of an outdoor play yard at a child care centre located on Vancouver parkland. The study operates in the greater context of a major collaborative research initiative known as the Consortium for Health, Intervention, Learning and Development (CHILD), a five year study of child development funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. One of the mandates of CHILD was to address "the impact of community resources and characteristics on early child development"(CHILD, 2006). The scope of this study is limited to looking at the physical design of a child care centre's outdoor play space and the potential of its affordances, the functionally significant parts of its environment(Gibson, 1977), in aiding or abetting the child's development. Recent studies show that Canadian children today are more obese due to physical inactivity (Tremblay & Wilms 2003). Other studies show that lack of affordances in children's environments may be complicating neurological and social-emotional disorders (Loveland, 1991; Volden & Johnson 1999). Meanwhile, spaces and funding for child centred activities are dwindling. Children are increasingly under house arrest due to fears of child predators and fatal injuries from unsafe environments. Children simply don't play as they did thirty years ago (Louv, 2005). The schedule and order of the child's day has changed (Greenman, 1992). The result of these changes is that our understanding of what childhood is, our social construct of it, is being contested and jeopardized. The picture is bleak but there is still hope that our understanding of childhood as a time of wonder and discovery may still be salvaged. One of the forums for action is the landscape and its advocate is the landscape architect. The child care centre is an increasingly important location in early childhood, being the place where most waking hours are spent and therefore, where a significant portion of the child's development will occur. The child's first experiences outdoors, away from their primary caregiver, will take place in the outside yard of the child care centre. In the city of Vancouver, it is increasingly the Landscape Architect who is responsible for the design 1 o f these spaces. Outs ide Cr i te r i a is a 5 year study funded through the Conso r t i um for Hea l th , Intervention, Lea rn ing and Deve lopment ( C H I L D ) . The gu id i ng research questions o f the study asked the f o l l o w i n g 2 questions: W h i c h outdoor phys i ca l factors contribute to early ch i ldhood development and qual i ty play at ch i l d care centres? To what degree do these factors currently exist at the centres under study? A f te r a careful analysis o f sixteen centres i n the c i ty ' s j u r i sd i c t ion , it was found that designs were often not adequately addressing the developmenta l needs o f the ch i l d . A l t hough Innovative designs have been proposed in order to beg in a " n e w conceptual izat ion o f the landscape o f p l a y " (Herr ington, 1997), implementat ion o f these landscape concepts are most l y l im i ted to laboratory schools attached to institutions such as universit ies and hospitals. Herr ington identif ies this fact and suggests that adjustments i n the des ign attitude may be required to work i n the pub l i c rea lm (Herr ington 1997). Recent studies found that environments that invite a w ide range o f comp lex interactions and pro longed engagement are benef ic ia l to ch i l d development (Ky t ta 2003 , Herr ington & Lesmeister , 2006) . The strength o f these f indings suggest that it is the pub l i c rea lm, rather than just the des ign professions, that need adjustment i n their p lann ing and attitude toward new des ign concepts for ch i ldren 's landscapes. A c c o m m o d a t i n g adult desires wh i l e sacr i f i c ing the needs o f ch i ld ren should no longer be acceptable to the profess ion o f landscape architecture. I real ize that these suggestions are value laden. Howeve r , i n the balance is the c h i l d popula t ion 's health and w e l l be ing as w e l l as our concept ion o f ch i ldhood and its place i n society. The image o f the ch i l d i n society too often is one o f a ch i l d that is impress ionable , vulnerable and weak. O u r des ign culture responds in k i n d , r emov ing a l l r isk and ask ing chi ldren to not test their abi l i t ies. The current environments avai lable ref lect adult fears. Th is fear stems f r o m concern for their ch i l d and a pub l i c profess iona l ' s fear o f l i t igat ion. 2 Overa l l , these fears tend to compromise the qual ity o f experience for the ch i l d . Consequent ly , we can imagine the ch i l d as r i ch i n potent ia l , strong, competent and power fu l (Fraser, 2003) . Th i s w i l l require a new design language w i t h this new hypothetical c h i l d i n m i n d . In the context o f ch i l d care i n a pub l i c park, it w i l l require reconsideration o f the status o f ch i ldren in pub l i c space. The prob lem is evident i n the l iterature; the literature l i nk i ng spec i f ic des ign elements i n early ch i ldhood p lay environments w i t h the developmental domains is sparse. Then to supplement this d i f f i cu l t cond i t ion is the fact that there is a gap i n the literature when it comes to des igning i n the public rea lm for early ch i ldhood outside o f the Un ivers i t y lab school mode l . Therefore, the body o f evidence w h i c h can advocate change is st i l l be ing developed and tested. Th i s study forms part o f that body o f explorat ion. The p rob lem in the literature is due to a lack o f interdisc ipl inary research. Studies that cou ld serve to l i nk developments i n a divers i ty o f f ie lds such as ch i l d development, p l aywork , ch i l d care practice, architecture, env i ronmenta l psycho logy , p lann ing and landscape architecture are rare. Literature o n c h i l d development is certainly not l ack ing . The literature concerning the role o f p lay and the inf luence o f the environment i n development are w e l l explored and are a tool to integrate disparate studies and to prov ide a rationale for the importance o f outdoor p lay i n early ch i ldhood . The literature i n the p lann ing and des ign f i e ld is , by contrast, quite weak i n its des ign advocacy for the ch i ld ' s early development. Th i s def ic iency i n the literature makes it d i f f i cu l t for park and city planners to understand what is at stake. Landscape architects suffer f rom this def ic iency i n the literature as we l l . Landscape Arch i tec ts are p r imar i l y concerned w i th the practice o f creating and des igning places. In the context o f a ch i l d care centre the role o f designer is shared w i t h the chi ldren and their caregivers. A l l require a sense o f c lar i ty o f the dec is ion mak ing process for the outdoor spaces adjacent to the ch i l d care centre. Landscape architects require a new sk i l l set that a l lows them to perceive the des ign o f p lay environments through the lens o f ch i ldhood development. Th i s w i l l help them produce dynamic yards that reflect strong and capable ch i ldren . The w o r k and research o f Outs ide Cr i te r i a encourages landscape architects to th ink about the long term effects o f the designs they propose for 3 chi ldren and to des ign f r o m a child-centred perspective. W h e n landscape architects embrace the perspective o f the ch i l d i n des ign, they make a pos i t i ve step toward he lp ing young ch i ldren develop i n healthy ways and engage the w o r l d around them. The approach is , as ment ioned before, value laden. It argues for the f reedom o f choice for parents to be able to earn a l i v i n g , determine their destinies and develop themselves without hav ing to worry that their ch i ldren are suffer ing due to their decis ions. It assumes that pub l i c l y funded ch i l d care is a vehic le to achieve a more funct iona l society, one that embraces equal i ty among sexes. Th i s part icular study makes the argument that a l l ch i ldren deserve qual i ty outdoor experiences regardless o f soc ioeconomic pos i t ion and locat ion. Th i s study also impl ies that organic environments, f u l l o f mal leable elements and l i v i ng matter, are idea l , and perhaps necessary, environments for early ch i ldhood. These values are advocated through process and design and arise through engagement w i th the participants and the recursive nature o f the research mode l . They embrace the ideals o f proact ive practice as def ined by Francis (1999), w h i c h asks designers to go beyond the boundaries o f the tradit ional culture o f practice and engage the commun i t y w i th a v i s i on for the way that things cou ld be rather than just sett l ing for the status quo. 4 2. Intent The purpose of this study is to describe the process of design for the outdoor yard of a licensed group child care centre located on Vancouver Board of Parks property. It employs an action research approach that results in an ideal design scheme for the centre and its twenty-two children. The intent was to clarify the planning and design process, explain a method for spatial analysis and propose novel design solutions. 2.1 Research Questions The guiding question of the Outdoor Criteria study asks "what are the outdoor physical factors to early childhood development and quality play at child care centres, and to what degree do these factors currently exist at the centres under study?"(Herrington, et al, 2005). The answers gathered from this question form a strong basis for analysis and signal areas for improvement in the design of the outdoor play space. The ultimate outcome of this initial data gathering was an analytical tool known as the Seven Cs (Herrington and Lesmeister, 2006). From the initial gathering of data, it became apparent that character and context of a child care centre were important factors in the degree to which a centre implemented designs which encourage quality play. The reason for the discrepancy between the design and planning of laboratory schools in the study compared the process of those located outside the University context gave rise to two major questions: 1. What are the obstacles in the planning process that make it difficult to implement designs that enhance children's development? 2. What can we do to address the situation and remove the identified obstacles? 5 Through the process o f exp lo r ing these questions a th i rd quest ion emerged. G i v e n that the design p rob lem cou ld not successful ly be addressed i n phys i ca l f o rm i n the short term, what w o u l d be the ideal f o rm o f this landscape i f current obstacles were non-existent? Th is th i rd quest ion offered respite and a l lowed a conc lus ion that was more forward look ing and long term than the parameters o f the current des ign c l imate for early ch i ldhood. The ideal case is a goal to reach toward and offers an example to designers and other stakeholders w h o w i sh to engage practice w h i c h w i l l create better environments for chi ldren. It reminds the designer to ask not on ly what is possible at the present time? but also what could be possible in the long term? 2.2 Definition of terms Parks: The capi ta l ized Parks in this paper when appearing at midsentence refers to the Vancouver Boa rd o f Parks and Recreat ion. Quality in Play: P l ay w h i c h supports the ch i ld ' s development and w h i c h supports long and repeated engagement w i th the environment. Outside Criteria: A 5 year mul t id isc ip l inary study o f outdoor p lay spaces at ch i l d care centres i n Vancouver . It is located at the Schoo l o f Archi tecture and Landscape Architecture and headed by associate professor Susan Herr ington. The study is funded through C H I L D . CHILD: The Conso r t i um for Hea l th , Intervention, Learn ing and Deve lopment . The Consor t ium is made up o f ten studies f rom different d isc ip l ines , o f w h i c h Outs ide Cr i te r ia is one. It is an interdisc ip l inary study o f the cond i t ion o f early ch i l dhood i n B r i t i sh Co lumb ia . C H I L D is a major col laborat ive research init iat ive ( M C R I ) funded through the Soc ia l Sciences and Humani t i es Research C o u n c i l o f Canada ( S S H R C C ) . 6 H E L P : The Human Early Learning Partnership. It is a network of faculty, researchers and graduate students engaged in an interdisciplinary research partnership that is concerned with creating knowledge about early childhood development and applying it in the community through partnerships. Design Committee: The Design Committee referred to in this document is the gathering of different stakeholders who determine the outcome of the physical facilities of a daycare centre. Tactile vegetation: A term coined by the author to refer to vegetation that can be touched by a child rather than merely seen and looked at. Tactile vegetation implies the child can interact with the vegetation in a number of different ways. For the purposes of this paper, tactile vegetation does not apply to cut lawns because the maintenance involved (cutting regularly) usually removes affordances for manipulative play. Its ability to incorporate change and chance are thus impeded. Seven C's : A criteria that links the physical conditions of outdoor play environments with what we know about the development of young children. The Criteria are the major research findings of Outside Criteria. The criteria are broken into categories: character, context, connectivity, change, chance, clarity, and challenge. Subspaces: Subspaces are identifiable units of space that are differentiated from the larger surrounding space. Rooms in a house are subspaces of the house. Likewise, outdoor rooms are subspaces of a larger yard. Subspace definition: The process by which subspaces are defined by spatial cues such as vertical planes, ground planes, and ceilings. Infancy: In child care provision in B.C. an infant is considered to be 0-18 months. The end of infancy is usually heralded by the ability to walk relatively well and without supervision. 7 Toddlerhood: In child care provision, a toddler is roughly 18 months to 36 months old. The end of toddlerhood is marked by such milestones as improved language and increasing mobility. Preschooler: In child care provision a child aged 36 months to 5 years old. As the name implies the child is not yet of school age. This is the stage in development where language acquisition is much accelerated. 2.2.1 Definition of the Seven Cs The seven Cs link physical conditions of outdoor play environments with what is known about the development of young children. Each C builds upon another to define key elements that should be considered in a design. The Cs are summarized here: Character This refers to the overall feel and design intent of the outdoor play space. Context This refers to the small world of the play space itself, the larger landscape that surrounds the centre, and how they interact with each other. Connectivity Indicates the physical, visual, and cognitive connectivity of the play space itself. Change Involves the range of differently sized spaces designed in the play area and how the whole play space changes over time. 8 Chance Involves an occas ion to a l l ow something to be done; an opportunity for the ch i l d to create, manipulate, and leave an impress ion on the play space. Clarity Combines phys ica l l eg ib i l i t y and perceptual imageabi l i ty o f the p lay space. Challenge Refers to the phys i ca l and cogni t ive encounters that a play space prov ides. 2.3 Limitations The Outside Cr i te r ia study was l im i ted by geographical boundaries o f the C i t y o f Vancouver . M y research addressed a centre located i n a park and is one o f two located on parkland that were included in the study. Therefore, whether it is representative o f the type or not is a matter o f conjecture and suitable for further study at a later t ime. Th is study makes the assumpt ion that it is representative for its type due to a s imi la r administrative culture (Vancouver Boa rd o f Parks and C i t y o f Vancouve r Department o f Soc ia l P lanning) and found ing date (al l centres located i n parks or ig inated dur ing the 1970s). The study is also l im i ted by the fact that it looks at p rov inc ia l l y regulated spaces for ch i ldren enrol led i n group ch i l d care rather than recreational programs for ch i ldren i n parks. The chi ldren i n the study ranged f rom 18 months to 5 years, the age groups speci f ied in the centre's l icense. Therefore, the developmental f rameworks presented here apply to chi ldren between these ages. The ch i ldren 's parents were not inc luded i n the study, nor were the ch i ldren interv iewed. Therefore, the personalit ies cultures and abi l i t ies o f individual ch i ldren were not inc luded for considerat ion i n this study. It was not w i th in the scope o f this project to examine the socia l ecology o f each ch i l d to determine commun i t y inf luence on his or her behaviour, a l though it may be worthy o f further study. 9 The study also focuses spec i f i ca l l y on P rov inc i a l l y l icensed and regulated group care faci l i t ies for ch i ld ren 18 months to 5 years rather than any other care arrangements. It was not w i th in the scope o f the study to propose or look deeply into a real ignment o f the infrastructure o f the care o f ch i ldren. There are m inor suggestion i n sect ion f i ve , the act ion agenda, w h i c h out l ine direct ions to changing inst i tut ional attitudes to favour chi ldren but a comprehensive overhaul o f the system is not found w i t h i n these pages. 2.4 S i g n i f i c a n c e o f S t u d y A s the infrastructure o f pub l i c care for early ch i ldhood is l a ck ing stabi l i ty and vulnerable to po l i t i ca l w h i m it is imperat ive that research benefit the pr imary stakeholders, namely the ch i ldren and caregivers, by advocat ing for qual i ty environments. A d d i n g transparency to the process o f des ign and inc lud ing the pr imary stakeholders as part ic ipants can have a posit ive effect on the end product o f a design. The s igni f icance o f this study is to show designers methods by w h i c h they can real ize child-centred designs that reflect the ch i ld ' s development and p lay needs. Pol i t ic ians i n the early 1970s made wise decis ions to take ch i l d care out o f church basements i n order to g ive them a more pub l i c prof i le greater v i s ib i l i t y . In 1973 the Honourable N o r m a n L e v i , B C M in i s t e r o f H u m a n Resources, had the f o l l o w i n g to say about the locat ions o f c h i l d care: N o w we are f i nd ing , certainly i n the Vancouve r area, that we have to have a concern about space and bui ld ings. We have to find places to put the children. We're hav ing discussions w i th the Vancouve r Schoo l B o a r d about us ing some o f the c lassrooms that are empty. Nevertheless, the p rob lem o f space i n respect to day care is going to be a serious one and we are undertaking some studies i n respect to modular units and the use o f trailers. The one th ing that I personal ly feel about the day-care situation i n respect to young ch i ld ren is that we do not want to be using basements of churches and other buildings which tend to make our children invisible. W e certainly 10 need to get into some k i n d o f reasonable unit i n w h i c h ch i ld ren can p lay and interact w i t h one another. (Hansard 1973) It is both bewi lder ing and upsetting h o w the above statement, f r om more that thirty years ago, carries a contemporary resonance. Parks were chosen as a locat ion for ch i l d care dur ing this per iod to a l l o w ch i ld ren to be v i s ib le i n the pub l i c rea lm, to inc lude them in the greater society. Parks reluctantly entered into an agreement w i t h the Prov ince to locate ch i l d care centres upon its lands (Board o f Parks, arch iva l correspondences, 1973,1974. Th i s was an unfortunate inst itut ional pos i t ion on the issue. Ch i l d r en i n parks add v ibrancy and l i fe to the soc ia l tableaus o f these pub l i c green spaces. Parks should be the natural locat ion for ch i l d care centres because they offer opportunit ies to " reach out and be close to nature" (Oberlander 1970). They offer real connect ions to the greater communi ty i n a re laxed and safe setting. Th i s study argues for the cont inuat ion o f ch i l d care i n parks and cal ls for f u l l rea l izat ion o f the context o f the park i n the des ign o f the outdoor spaces. Establ ish ing the importance o f context for daycare, we turn to the issue o f character. The setting o f ch i l d care i n the park is a good start but not an end in itself. The choice and qual ity o f the materials and the organizat ion o f spaces i n the yard w i l l determine the character o f the yard and thus the overall feel of the space (Herr ington & Lesmeister , 2006). The designer benefits f rom contemplat ing the character o f the outdoors and the interaction o f elements i n def in ing the outdoor play space. Character is also an expression o f values i n des ign f o rm and this study serves the designer i n m a k i n g transparent the discovery o f those values dur ing the design process. 2.5 Description of Site 2.5.1 Site Context The study site is located on a h i l l s ide w h i c h sits i n the larger system o f a embankment running East West a long the South shore o f Los t Lagoon . S torm water runo f f f lows f rom 11 this embankment into Los t L agoon . T o the No r th o f the study site l ies Los t L a g o o n and the forests o f Stanley Park. To the South is the urban gr id o f the West E n d neighbourhood. The study site straddles these two systems. The house, w h i c h is used by the ch i ld care, sits at the South-Central end o f the site. T o the South o f the house, running the length o f the street, is an art i f ic ia l embankment (most l i ke l y insta l led i n the early 1960s w i th the arr iva l o f h igh rise towers i n the area). The play area is situated to the No r th o f the house and faces the lagoon. The site is Tr iangular , w i t h its points fac ing North-East, South-East and South-West. However , site boundaries are not precisely angular, but rather cu rv ing and g iven shape by large spec imen trees on the site. 2.5.2 Site H is tory It is useful to locate the study site i n a cont inuum to real ize the poetry o f the landscape, the shared ideas and d y n a m i s m o f ch i l d care founders and the place o f current participants i n an evo l v i ng history. Such explorat ions tend to help make sense o f where we have been and where we can move f rom here. Paul ine Johnson, a poet o f M o h a w k and Eng l i sh l ineage, spent the final four years o f her l i fe i n Vancouve r (1909-1913). She was a resident o f the West E n d and spent t ime canoeing i n C o a l Harbour and the t ida l flats that w o u l d later become Los t L a g o o n , so named i n her honour. She wrote this poem o f the " L a g o o n " : IT is dusk on the Los t L a g o o n , A n d we two dreaming the dusk away, Beneath the drift o f a tw i l ight grey, Beneath the drowse o f an ending day, A n d the curve of a golden moon. It is dark in the Los t L a g o o n , A n d gone are the depths o f haunting blue, The grouping gul ls , and the o ld canoe, The s inging f i rs , and the dusk a n d - y o u , A n d gone is the golden moon . O ! lure of the Los t L a g o o n , 12 I dream to-night that my paddle blurs The purple shade where the seaweed stirs, I hear the call of the singing firs In the hush of the golden moon. (Johnson, 1911) Johnson's poem alludes to the natural history of the site, that of a tidal mudflat. It was considered a "lost" lagoon because low tide made canoeing in the area impossible. The natural history of the site indicates that it was a runoff basin that let into the Burrard inlet. The area was originally tidal mudflats and the tide would bring in waters up to the perimeter of the present site. The area was completely forested, most likely a climax Douglas fir with associations typical of coastal lowland in the region. First Nations are believed to have used the area extensively. A large midden was found in Stanley Park composed of broken shells and subsequently used for the surfacing of the park's first street(Steele,1993). The present child care building is a class B heritage house built in the vernacular Edwardian style of the time. It was built on this lot by Sophie and Cecil Merritt in 1905 and served as their residence. In 1910 the southern shore of Coal basin (where the site is located) was incorporated into the park. There were originally many houses located on the south shore of what is now an artificial freshwater lake, they were all moved or demolished between 1913 and 1916, with the exception of the house that now houses the study site (Steele, 1993). Aileen Campbell, a journalist for The Province, in 1974 wrote an article in the May 16th Lifestyles section of the paper that described the history of the inhabitants of the house (Campbell, 1974). Cecil Sr. died in the First World War at Ypres. The Merritt family moved to Shaughnessy in 1912 and the following year they sold the house to the Board of Parks and Recreation (Campbell, 1974). It became the park superintendant's family residence until 1973. The original site also had a barn situated to the east of the main house that was demolished sometime after 1932, the last known photo documentation where this building appears. 13 The house evokes strong memories from those who spent their childhood there. Elizabeth Merritt, Cecil Sr.'s granddaughter, relates that her father used to tell her of how he would take his canoe from the back yard and set off into the "lagoon" when the tides were high (Merritt, personal communication, 2005). Wilfrid Wooton the son of a park superintendent who lived there after the Merritts said of the location "you couldn't ask for a nicer place to grow up in-it was a treat." The residence on the site housed three different families over the period of 69 years. He recalled swimming in the tidal waters of the inlet (Campbell 1974). Wooton described the park as a thousand acre playground for him and his friends (Campbell 1974). The Merritt family maintained a friendship with the Wooton family. Cecil Merritt Jr. remembered as a boy collecting salmonberries by the thousands in the park in order for Mrs. Wooton to make salmonberry pies (Campbell 1974). His sister recalls play there "It (the park) was our own front yard... We had all our adventures, forts in the park, it was like living a story." Alfred Wooton was the first Parks superintendent to live in the house. Among his interventions in the landscape were a Laurel hedge delineating the perimeter of the property and acting as a screen for privacy as well as a fruit and vegetable garden. The Wootons moved from the residence in 1947. The next occupants were park superintendent Stuart Lefeaux and his family. The Lefaux family occupied the house until the 1973 when it was decided by Commissioners Wainborn and Puil that the house should be demolished and the area to be returned to public use. This was not to occur because the house would eventually be chosen to house a child care centre in 1974. The fate of this precinct may have taken quite a different and grandiose turn had the economy not conspired against it. After the sale of the house to the Board of Parks and Recreation, the board began to set in motion a transformation of the landscape adjacent to the study site. One of the original four concepts proposed by English Landscape architect Thomas Mawson was that the area be a cultural precinct for the city and the subsequent landscaping was to be a very formal plan including a museum and stadium. This was the favoured plan of City Council. However, due to the lack of finances (the stadium alone would have been $80000, an exhorbitant sum at the time) and public dissatisfaction with the proposed plan, Lost Lagoon was conceived as it is today, a naturalistic design in the 14 English picturesque tradition (Steele,1993). In 1913, the natural system of the tidal mudflats was altered by the creation of an artificial lake that would later be known as Lost Lagoon. In 1916 a causeway was completed that separated Lost Lagoon from Coal Harbour. Lost Lagoon remained a saltwater body until 1933 when the pipes that fed the lagoon were shut off, the lagoon was filled with freshwater and stocked with fish for recreational fishermen who rented boats from where the Park Ecology House is currently located. Had Mawson's plan been implemented it is almost certain that the study site would not have housed child care. It would be the site of the proposed stadium in Mawson's plan. The child care society that currently operates the centre, in 1974 , was operating from a church basement. They surveyed their options and decided that the study site would best serve the children's needs. 2.5.3 History of the institution of child care in parks "Families require daycare. Modern technology and urbanizations have introduced many dislocations in family life and have mandated changing family lifestyles. It is difficult for services, necessary both to the protection and the enrichment of individual families in a changed socio-economic environment, to keep pace with the need. We now expect a family to achieve what no other society has ever expected an individual family to accomplish unaided. In effect, we call upon the individual family to do what a whole clan used to do." (Federal Minister of Human Resources, Status of Daycare, 1973) The need for child care spaces rapidly burgeoned in the early 1970s. In 1971 the number of child care spaces was 17,391 in 682 centres nationwide (Status of Daycare 1971). In 1975 that number had increased to 69952 spaces in 1839 centres (Status of daycare 1975). Clearly the need for quality child care spaces was on the rise. The fundamental shift that was occurring would have the implications that children were spending longer 15 periods in care. In the Greater Vancouver Regional district, the need for more child care spaces was acute. The stated desire of governments of the day was to have the children in the public realm, visible and empowered. Therefore spaces for them would have to be located. The provincial government at the time took an active role in trying to help build this infrastructure of care to meet public demand. The Daycare portfolio, at that time, fell under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Ministry of Human Resources. The honourable Norman Levi, Minister of Human Resources, announced the new approach of the government towards daycare in the legislature in February, 1973: "All of the members of this house know the stories that are out there concerning children. The deserted mother with small children-locked into a house or apartment, slowly dying inside from that triple burden of being a mother, a father and a housekeeper-and trying to get by on welfare. There is now some glimmer of hope through daycare and the opportunities programme" (Hansard, 1973). The government had committed two hundred thousand dollars in 1974 dollars towards a capital program to start non-profit daycares. Eleven centres had applied and five more were under review. Some of these original centres are ones in Outside Criteria's study, including the study site. Levi continued to outline that it was the intention of the government to broaden the availability of child care and wished to assist with clarifying confusions regarding regulations and standards by opening a daycare information centre in the city of Vancouver (Hansard, 1973). The search for spaces was often referred to in the media of that time as the "daycare crisis" and there is felt a general sense of urgency in meeting the need of the public. City social services, the committee of council and department of human resources were concurrently developing a list of proposed sites for child care centres. Many of those sites included parks. The child care centres, however, were meant to be temporary until permanent facilities could be located and built. Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation was contacted by the Department of Human Resources concerning the location of child 16 care within park boundaries. The Board replied with an official letter stating its eight conditions for child care in parks (Vancouver Board of Parks Fonds, 1973). This agreement marks the beginning of the relationship between the VBOP and child care service providers. Friction arose when it became unclear who was responsible for the maintenance of the child care grounds. Parks had made it clear with the first leases signed with the Province that the Department of Human Resources would be responsible for the maintenance of grounds. In the first three years of the arrangement, the Province paid for private landscapers to maintain the yards. At the end of the initial leases, the Board was not satisfied with the uneven standards of maintenance and contacted the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects for guidance. This document set the standards for child care spaces in parks, establishing a planning process. The child care in this centre is one of those that rose out of the church basement and into the public light. It was located in a church basement in the West End until 1974. It was one of the few full day group care providers in the area at that time and unique because it cared for children under three. The daycare's administrative society was hoping to find a new location when the church stated that it wanted to use the basement facilities for other purposes. The head of the Society at the time, contacted park commissioner Art Cowie on January 28th 1974 in regards to using what was then called "the Lagoon House" . Although the board had moved several months earlier a motion to demolish the house, in February the heritage board wished to examine the house and site first prior to giving the green light for demolition. The motion for demolition would be stayed until September of 1974. The chronology by which the site became a child care centre was very quick in comparison to the current climate of providing spaces. During March and February of 1974 several sites for the child care were considered including the placement of portables on Sunset beach. The request for using the Lagoon house was forwarded to the Parks Board for feasibility studies. In May, City Alderman Darlene Marzari and Daycare 17 Information Centre inspector Marjorie Phelps toured the house and stated that "the two of us leaped at least four inches into the air for joy"(City of Vancouver Fonds 1974). In June, the Board of Parks and Department of Human Resources entered into a lease agreement for the use of the site as a child care centre. The house was not yet ready to house children as it did not meet Provincial regulations. In July, City Health inspectors made a report about needed retrofitting (Vancouver City Health Dept. Fonds, 1974). This marks the beginning of the relationship of the centre to health licensing. The Daycare Society, City Alderman Marzari and The Urban Design Centre (Design advocates) had reservations and objections to the report and attempted to lobby for changes to regulations. Part of the lure of the Lagoon House was that it did not feel "institutional." They did not want to fence the outdoor area nor make major structural changes to the building (such as closing off the stairway between the first and second floor). Health officers suggested the use of "institutional" materials like green linoleum but the Society preferred the existing hardwood floors. They were successful in all but one of their lobbying efforts. Provincial regulations clearly spelled out the need for fencing the perimeter of the yard and was therefore required by provincial law. The other two decisions fell within the statutory power of the official but were not written into provincial regulation and therefore variances were permitted. The City paid for the fencing of the area. Tensions between the centre and the Vancouver Board of Parks often arose from landscaping issues. These tensions set off a bad start for the relationship between the centre and the V.B.O.P. The original lease was for three years (1974-1977). In 1977, the Park Board renewed it with hesitation for another three years. The hesitation arose from the continuing lack of clarity about who was responsible for grounds maintenance. The board wanted the costs of maintenance included in the society's operating budget. As the second lease began to sunset in 1979, the Board expressed the desire not to renew the lease. The Vancouver Board of Parks had made it clear that the arrangement they had made with regards to child care in 1974 was temporary. The political will that existed in the early 1970s was evaporating and the drive to achieve quality in child care from 18 governments was already in regression. The child care centre, through skillful lobbying, managed to renew its lease in 1980. To the knowledge of the author, it has not faced difficulty renewing after this period. The landscape for the study site has never been master planned, rather it is a collection of the interventions of previous and present occupants of the building. Trees planted at the perimeter of the site in the 1970s and originally intended to be shrubs have grown to up to 20 metres in height over the period of the last 30 years. Traces of the original landscaping remain on the slope of the site and in the shrubbery surrounding the site. The play space in its current form dates from the 1980s and contains custom built equipment. Rob Degros built the play apparatus of the yard in the mid to late 1980s. DeGros' influence can be seen in child care play spaces throughout Vancouver including those at UBC. The grounds were lightly damaged when renovations and retrofitting of the house took place in 2001.The play apparatus lasted until June of 2006, when it was condemned by health licensing and removed due to the rotting of its wooden footings. 2.5.4 The physical site The study site is very large for a child care centre and well exceeds the minimum standard of 7m2 per child as set out in the provincial regulations. Its entire area is 1820 m2 of which 774 m2 is used for the children's play space. The licensed capacity of the centre is for 24 children, thus translating into 32 m2per child of outdoor play space. Cyclone fencing delineates the perimeter of the site. The site is located on a slope that effectively reduces the active play space due to safety concerns of the early childhood educators. The slope occupies 500m2, just under a third of the total area of the space. The grade of the slope at its steepest point is 18%, which may be manageable by adults but is too challenging for toddlers. This slope occupies the southwestern portion of the site. At the southeastern corner of the site is a 4.5 metre 19 embankment wall at the base of this wall is a gentle slope (4% grade). The rest of the site gently slopes(2-3% grade) towards the lagoon. There is a high degree of organic ground plane materials on the site overall. However, a significant portion of the ground surface in the active play area is asphalt. Of the total 774 m2, roughly one quarter of this space (209m2) is asphalt. The climbing equipment and associated fall zones occupy 112 m2. The fall surface of this area is sand which serves to not only soften falls but acts as a play material as well. There are 3 patches of grass that occupy a total of 134m2. The largest occupies 84m2 of the play area and the smaller two 36m2and 14m2 respectively. The swings and their associated fall zone occupy 40m2. The fall surface here is sand but because of the nature of swing use and the high probability of accidents, the sand is not used for play. There is a play house on a platform and a wooden bridge which occupy 30m2 .Surrounding these areas is an area of sand approximately 50m2 in size. The sand here is somewhat mixed with dirt and leaf litter. The remaining 200m2 of ground surface is dirt. To summarize, one quarter of the surfacing of the site is asphalt, one quarter sand, one quarter grass and the last quarter is dirt or covered and closed by structures on site. The house, located on the south central part of the site has its main entrance from a bridge that connects it to the street at the south side of the house. This is the entrance and exit for infants and toddlers. The preschooler exit is located on the North side of the house. Between the House and the play space is a large balcony with stairs leading down to the play space. The house has windows on all directions and ones that specifically look out to the play space and lagoon from the Northwest corner room. This is the area that houses both the main play room on the first floor and the supervisor's office on the second floor. Delineating the north edge of the site are large Douglas fir and Western red cedars. These trees are at least 30 years old and approximately 20 metres in height. There are also mature black cottonwood, Douglas fir, Big leaf maple and Western red cedar at the Southwestern corner of the site, on the slope. 20 3. Procedures 3.1 Assumptions and Rationale for the Qualitative paradigm of study The Outside Criteria Project and this project use the Action Research model. The Action research model as defined by Reason and Bradbury is: " A participatory and democratic process concerned with developing practical knowing in the pursuit of worthwhile human purposes, grounded in a participatory worldview...It seeks to bring together action and reflection, theory and practice, in participation with others, in the pursuit of practical solutions to issues of pressing concern to people, and more generally the flourishing of individual persons and their communities" (2001). The model therefore encourages direct involvement between researcher and the researched in order to activate change through the research process. The goal of this research orientation is to generate practical knowledge that contributes to the "well-being of human persons and communities"(Reason and Bradbury, 2001). The study follows a qualitative paradigm, defined as "an inquiry process of understanding a social or human problem, based on building a complex, holistic picture, formed with words, reporting detailed views of informants, and conducted in a natural setting "(Cresswell,1994). A reduction in the distance between the researcher and the researched allows and encourages both parties to be affected by one another through the application of participatory methods in the research design. The adoption of this model allows the research to benefit children and child care practitioners by gathering their perspectives and incorporating their needs in the study. The research model also runs counter to the assumption by the current Prime Minister that government money for child care is going to "armies of academics, researchers and special interest groups" (Harper 2006) without any discernible benefit to children and 21 fami l ies . Th i s study is meant to improve exist ing spaces and to argue for new spaces that incorporate qual i ty des ign o f the outdoor space as a necessity rather than an afterthought. Th i s requires the part ic ipat ion o f a l l i n vo l ved parties (city and park planners, health of f i c ia ls , daycare prov iders , spatial designers, pol i t ic ians, chi ldren) i n order to implement at an infrastructural leve l . Th rough the course o f this project, po l i t i ca l changes have affected the ch i l d care sector, p lac ing pressure on the resources and t ime demands o f practitioners i n the f i e ld . The act ion research mode l is important because it incorporates voices that rise above the pol i t i cs o f the day and places the focus o n those direct ly affected by po l i c ies and p lann ing. The act ion research mode l contains an "ac t ion agenda that changes the l i fe o f participants, institutions and the researcher's l i f e " (C resswe l l , 2003) . The nature o f this change can be emancipatory as it focuses on "he lp ing ind iv idua ls free themselves f rom constraints found i n the med ia , i n language, i n wo rk procedures, and i n the relat ionship o f power i n educat ional settings. It can free people f rom the "constraints o f i rrat ional and unjust structures that l im i t se l f development and se l f de te rmina t ion " (Kemmis and W i l k i n s o n 1998). 3.2 Qualitative Research Strategy The research o f this project occurs i n a meta-narrative o f m y invo lvement w i th the Outside Cr i te r ia Project, C H I L D and H E L P . Through m y engagement i n research w i th these groups, I was exposed to a variety o f research methods and strategies. The study o f the ch i ld care site, i n part icular its phys ica l analysis, uses the Seven C ' s (Herr ington and Lesmeister , 2006) , a set o f cr i ter ia for analysis o f outdoor p lay spaces der ived through grounded theory, act ion research and a rev iew o f the literature. The strategy invo l ved was to implement the f ind ings o f the analysis into a phys i ca l des ign to the study site and eventual ly cu lm ina t ing in the construct ion o f the yard accord ing to the design f rom w h i c h a before and after condi t ion cou ld be compared. 22 Whereas the theory o f the Seven C s served w e l l i n ana lyz ing and des ign ing the site, implementat ion was more d i f f icu l t . The context o f a study site outside o f the univers i ty laboratory type poses unique chal lenges and a different set o f part icipants than previous studies. It was dec ided that an ethnographic approach was more appropriate to the study at hand because such a strategy places emphasis on "the immers ion o f the researcher i n a particular cultural context and the attempt to ascertain h o w those l i v i n g i n that context interpret their s i tuat ion" (Groat and W a n g 2003). The case study and narrative are both strategies emp loyed i n this study. S im i l a r to Lesmeister 's study (2005), the f i e ldwork most ly i nvo l ved part ic ipant observat ion as the pr imary mode o f data co l lec t ion . Where it differs is that it observes not on ly the ch i ldren and caregivers, but pub l i c o f f i c ia ls invo lved w i th me i n the process o f des igning for the outdoor yard. Th i s reveals h o w the parkland setting o f m y study site inf luences the design o f the space. The stakeholders and context i n a park d i f fer f r om those at a university lab schoo l . 3.3 Roles of the researcher 3.3.1 Des igner F r o m the in i t ia l contact w i t h the centre I entered the project as their designer. The role o f wh i ch was to analyse the site, ident i fy problems and f ind solut ions for them. I made sense o f the program that was g i ven i n the in i t ia l phase o f design and later as it changed. I proposed a conceptual des ign for the space that was used by the registered landscape architect on the project. 3.3.2 Advoca te Gather ing in format ion f r o m observ ing the ch i ldren and the staff, I became an advocate for the ch i ldren and their r ights. Ch i l d ren ' s rights to p lay are recogn ized under a U N convent ion and these rights are best exercised through innovat ive and chi ld-centred play 23 spaces. I advocated for the children through design form. I based design decisions and defended them through the strength of the findings from Outside Criteria summarized earlier in section 2.2.1. 3.3.3 Observer Throughout the process it has been my role to observe. Observing the children in play contributes to the body of knowledge about their interactions with the study site. My observations also educated me in what they like to do in play. During meetings with stakeholders, I observed policymakers and public officials and listened to their motivations in forming the child's landscape. They too are often frustrated with the current conditions for childhood and would like strategies to improve the situation. 3.3.4 Participant Everyone has had a childhood. I drew from memories of my own childhood and did not discount entirely my own experiences as a child in my research. I also had a daughter born at the beginning of the research process; we became participants in this research through our interactions together in the city's parks, streets and public places. 3.3.5 Investigator Unearthing the history of policy and design process from the archives required the skills of an investigator. The roles here were identification of sources and location of clues that lead me to other sources in the labyrinth of both the internet and the city of Vancouver archives. Through investigation, I found how child care had come to find itself on the study site. I also discovered how, and in what climate, that was achieved. 24 3.4 Data Collection Procedure Outside Cr i te r ia deve loped the in i t ia l data co l lec t ion procedure emp loyed i n this study i n 2003. It includes a F i e l d observat ion, 6 hours o f v ideotaped observat ions o f ch i ldren at play on site i n different weather condit ions and a one hour focused interv iew w i th the centre's staff. In addi t ion, notes f rom a workshop conducted w i t h ch i l d care staff from different centres i n Augus t o f 2004 are inc luded i n the data. The second round o f data co l lec t ion was not direct ly related to Outs ide Cr i te r ia but related more to the process o f implement ing the design. Supplement ing the Outs ide Cr i ter ia data are notes f r o m site des ign committee meetings dur ing the per iod o f m y involvement i n f r om October 2004 to February 2006. A l s o inc luded are h is tor ica l in format ion on ch i l d care i n Vancouve r f rom the C i t y o f Vancouve r archives as we l l as histor ical ch i l d care po l i c y debates f rom Hansard. Th is co l l ec t ion o f data contr ibuted to understanding the culture and context o f the design process and the stakeholders invo lved i n the process. It was also benef ic ia l i n understanding the site i tse l f and contr ibuted to the poetry o f the f ina l i terat ion o f the des ign for the site. The third co l lec t ion o f data expands on the or ig ina l literature rev iew conducted by Lesmeister (2005). Th i s inc ludes an addi t ion o f new precedent designs and studies. It also extends upon areas o f ch i l d development (such as language) and their l inks to the phys ica l environment. 25 3.5 Data Recording Procedures 3.5.1 F i e l d Observat ions The f ie ld observat ion f o r m , developed by Outside Cr i ter ia , is an evaluat ive tool used researchers to document and measure the outdoor yards at the centres i n the study. It consists o f an inventory o f the site 's phys ica l condi t ions, its functional/relat ional spaces, an analysis o f its character, a design crit ique and a context d iagram show ing the place o f the centre w i th in the greater commun i t y context. These are f i l l ed out by hand by one researcher wh i l e the other takes photographs o f the site at the ch i l d ' s and adult 's height. In addit ion to this in i t ia l f i e ld observat ion, qualit ies o f the site reveal themselves later to a greater extent over several v is i ts and notes are taken throughout the v ideo recording process. The in i t ia l observat ion fo rm is inc luded in the appendix. 3.5.2 V i d e o Observat ion Observat ion o f the p lay patterns o f the ch i ldren is conducted through v ideo documentat ion and f i e ld notes. Tap ing at the centre studies here was done for 3 hours i n the winter o f early 2005 and later 3 hours i n spr ing o f the same year. The method o f v ideo recording was establ ished in late 2003. The taping is done i n pairs , one researcher records on videotape wh i l e the other takes notes. The note taker is sometimes responsible for observ ing the overa l l p lay narrative that is taking place on site and may gu ide the camera to document different parts o f the play yard as the narrative unfo lds . 3.5.3 One hour focused Interv iew w i t h staff A one hour interv iew w i th staff serves to gain the insights o f pract i t ioners ' percept ion o f the outside space. 26 The questions asked by the interviewers were: What do y o u l i ke about your outdoor space? What do y o u d is l ike about your outdoor space? What do the ch i ldren l ike best? What do they d i s l i ke? What w o u l d y o u change about your outdoor space i f y o u cou ld? A r e there any seasonal differences i n the way the ch i ldren use the space? The answers to these questions were recorded on large sheets o f paper so that the note taking dur ing this process was transparent. 3.5.4 Workshop D iscuss ions In Augus t o f 2004 a workshop was conducted at Westcoast C h i l d care resource centre. The ch i l d care staff f rom different centres discussed and bra instormed h o w to transform their outdoor yards. The results o f this workshop were recorded on large sheets o f paper by group faci l i tators f r om the Outs ide Cr i te r ia project. 3.5.5 Des ign meet ing notes F r o m October 2004 to June 2005,1 was the pr inc ipa l designer o n this project. F r o m June 2005 to Augus t 2006 I was a design committee member i n an adv isory capacity. Du r ing this per iod I took notes o f the progress o f the design. These were recorded in notebooks containing m y thesis research. 3.5.6 H is tor i ca l In format ion I began histor ica l research at the C i t y o f Vancouver A r ch i ves i n January o f 2006.1 requested arch iva l f i les f r om the fonds o f Vancouve r Boa rd o f Parks and recreat ion, 27 Urban Des ign G roup , Hea l th L i c ens ing , and Daycare Informat ion Centre. Notes wri t ten by me documented the var ious memos , letters, meetings, in format ion materials, pamphlets and plans concerned w i t h the creation o f new ch i l d care spaces i n the 1970s. Insurance maps cop ied f r o m the archives machines document the var ious bu i ld ings on the site over t ime. Photographs f r om the U rban Des ign Fonds were assessed to determine the condi t ion o f the site immedia te ly pr ior to its becoming a daycare. I requested four o f these photographs to be pr inted for use i n this thesis to document the landscape's change over t ime. 3.5.7 Hansard Transcr ipts To establish the context i n w h i c h a large port ion o f ch i ld care spaces were established ( inc luding the study site), I studied transcripts o f legis lat ive debates o f the B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a Par l iament f r om Hansard for the per iod o f 1973-1975.1 recorded a t imel ine o f act ion on the daycare por t fo l io as w e l l as pertinent quotes concern ing the establishment o f ch i ld care and its importance f r om legislators. 3.5.8 Precedent Studies and sites The literature was consulted for studies that were s imi lar to the scope o f the Outs ide Cr i ter ia Study. These studies expand the rev iew o f literature done by Lesmeister (2005). Notes f rom the literature were gathered i n a notebook. I surveyed des ign precedents sympathetic to accommodat ing ch i ldren 's development i n outdoor environments and relevant to site des ign for ch i l d care. 28 3.6 Data Analysis Procedures 3.6.1 F i e l d Observat ion and The Seven C s The categories o f the Seven C s : character, context, change, chance, c lar i ty , connect iv i ty and chal lenge formed the cr iter ia by w h i c h the phys ica l site was analysed. Th i s criteria out l ined by Lesmeister (2005) and Herr ington and Lesmeister (2006) was useful in ident i fy ing needs for site improvements and gu id ing the des ign object ives. 3.6.2 V i d e o and Anecdota l notes o f Ch i ld ren at play The approach for analysis o f v ideo observations was different f r o m prev ious approaches by Herr ington and Outs ide Cr i te r ia . Instead o f us ing v ideo as a too l for compar i son o f play patterns i n a before and after condi t ion , it was used as a proact ive too l for enhancing and incorporat ing ex is t ing play patterns o f the chi ldren i n a new des ign. The anecdotal observat ions together w i th the v ideo observat ion f o rm a r i ch narrative o f play that in forms the designer 's concept o f the space. P lay durations and p lay behaviours that fa l l outside o f expected parameters, language exchanges, behaviours l i nked to particular landscape elements and mic roc l imat i c condit ions o f the session are incorporated to prov ide a r icher context for the data. A s the ma in players i n the v ideos , the chi ldren are made fu l l part icipants i n the design. Th is embraces the idea o f the proact ive approach o f ch i l d part ic ipat ion descr ibed by M a r k Francis. Th i s v i e w holds that part ic ipat ion is a method for ch i ld ren and adults wo rk together to " re invent ch i l dhood and the places that support i t " (Francis and Lo renzo 2002). Observat ions o f h o w ch i ldren are p lay ing and h o w that type o f p lay can be accommodated i n an enhanced way inf luenced the f inal des ign iteration. 29 The observat ion method a l lows for the designer to direct ly observe ch i ldren interacting w i th the landscape i t se l f rather than the c o m m o n practice o f conceptua l iz ing play zones i n p lan v i ew without seeing exist ing patterns o f use. The ch i ld ren , through their observed behaviours and uses o f the site, are educating and communica t ing w i t h the researcher o f what they can do o n the site. 3.6.3 One hour Focused Interview Outside Cr i te r ia d i d a content analysis o f the interviews o f the s ixteen centres i n the greater study and came up w i th norms for participant responses. The categories most ident i f ied by staff were the desire for addit ional sensory exper ience, better organized space and better phys i ca l equipment, seating, structures. The Interv iew w i t h the center i n the park was compared and contrasted w i th this norm. A content analysis was also done to spec i f ica l ly ident i fy the values o f the participants towards the outdoor play space. 3.6.4 Des ign Mee t i ng notes A content analysis was conducted to see where conf l icts between the ident i f ied site needs (as def ined by the Seven Cs ) and Des ign Commit tee participants occur. These conf l icts are areas where the research fai ls to convince participants or is overru led by an oppos ing power structure(s) or due to external c ircumstance. They were the areas where obstacles to implementat ion were ident i f ied. Howeve r it should be rea l ized that these notes are m y notes as a des ign committee member and are therefore h igh ly subjective. I have used m y cr i t ica l judgment i n i nc lud ing certain material e l iminat ing bias as m u c h as possible. 3.6.5 H is tor i ca l In format ion f rom archives and Hansard A chronology or an evo lut ion o f the site was made by p iec ing together in format ion and, where poss ib le , corre lat ing histor ica l data sources to bu i l d a story o f h o w the park and study site were formed. I documented the correspondence and p lann ing documents o f 30 various governmental and non governmental agencies in order to immerse myself in the climate of the time when the child care centre was founded on the study site. This allowed me to understand the values of its participants and establish the continuum of service to the present day. 3.6.6 Precedent studies and sites These studies and sites were consulted to locate the current study site in the literature and design history concerned with spatial design for early childhood. 3.7 Strategies for validating findings 3.7.1 Audibility The process by which findings concerning the evaluation of the physical design of the site have been made quite clear in the previous work by Herrington and Lesmeister (2006). I strive here in this report to make clear the process by which implementation occurred in this specific situation and as a way to show how the final design iteration was arrived at. 3.7.2 Critical validity Where applicable, I attempt to find bias in the work and admit where bias may be present. Design methods and products have a strong element of subjectivism and bias is quite common. Where it warrants I point out the biases of the researcher. 31 3.8 Process of Discovery-Chronology 3.8.1 Jo in ing and Fami l i a r i sa t ion w i t h Outside Cr i te r ia Ear ly i n 2004 I j o i ned the team at the Outside Cr i te r ia project and was immersed into the context o f researching ch i l d care. O n a personal note, this co inc ided roughly w i th learning that m y w i f e was pregnant and that I w o u l d become a father. These two facts were the m a i n motivators beh ind pursuing a course o f research into early ch i l dhood development and ch i ldhood ' s expression reflected in the landscape. Pr ior to ident i fy ing the site that w o u l d eventually be studied; I was immersed in a course o f activit ies that a l lowed me to learn the methods o f the group. These inc luded f i e ld observations, record ing, v i ew ing and cod ing o f videotapes, interv iews and a workshop w i th practit ioners. These activit ies contr ibuted to an emergent theory o f the group k n o w n as the Seven C ' s , des ign cr i ter ia for outdoor play spaces at ch i l d care centres. 3.8.2 B i r ths T w o births occurred i n the. autumn o f 2004, that o f m y daughter Pera and that o f this particular project. In late summer a member o f the ch i ld care's administrat ive society contacted Susan Herr ington . They sought a graduate student who w o u l d be interested in propos ing a des ign for the outdoor play yard for w h i c h funds had been earmarked since 2002. A f te r the in i t ia l meet ing at the centre w i th the administrator and Professor Herr ington, the centre was entered into our study and I was the engaged as the designer for the outdoor playspace, w i th the goal o f it be ing bui l t i n the summer o f 2005. Our method o f analysis was employed to study the centre's yard and m y first impress ion o f the yard was that it needed litt le improvement due to an excel lent contextual pos i t ion and the seeming abundance o f mal leable materials and vegetation. A one hour interv iew 32 was conducted w i t h the staff and the ma in impress ion gained f r om the in terv iew was that they enjoyed the "natura lness" . That f a l l , design meetings were conducted pr imar i l y w i th the administrator and sometimes w i t h the staff supervisor. 3.8.3 First des ign iteration and communica t ion o f the part ic ipatory mode l The observat ion o f the ch i ld ren began in January o f 2005 and these observat ions gave me a good idea o f h o w they were us ing the space. Th i s and the in terv iew w i t h staff i n the fa l l a l lowed me to conf ident ly propose the first design concepts for the space. The design was shown to the administrator who approved the iteration but was hesitant due to a lack o f exposure to non tradit ional p layground designs. (N i cho l l s , D e s i g n Mee t i ng Notes , 2005). Du r ing this per iod I f ami l i a r i sed her w i th our part icipatory mode l and precedent work by Professor Her r ington , such as the infant garden(1997). These communica t ions conv inced her i n the mode l ' s strength and its emphasis on chi ldren 's use o f space. 3.8.4 Obstacles: the safe spaces grant A prov inc ia l grant, k n o w n as the safe spaces grant, was created i n late 2004. The administrator communica ted her intention to have the centre apply for the grant i n order to secure more funds for the outdoor play space. The grant had st ipulat ions attached, first: that the funds must be directed towards improvements to meet C S A standards and secondly, that any proposals must be approved by a ch i l d care l i cens ing off icer . A t a design meet ing we contacted the administrator o f the grant to inquire i f our proposal wou ld qual i fy . The administrator was puzz led by the fact that we w o u l d apply i f there was no play structure. A t a later des ign meet ing health l i cens ing off icers became invo lved in the design committee earlier than expected due to the st ipulat ions and deadlines o f the grant. They expressed several reservations about the proposal , i nc lud ing the fact that there was no p lay structure (N i cho l l s , Des ign Mee t ing Notes 2005) . The grant also accelerated the des ign process i n order to meet the deadline o f the grant. 33 The grant also put a different f ramework on the perception o f the des ign. The grant's emphasis on safety caused that to become the pr imary value i n the design. The in i t ia l concepts began to be scaled back due to safety concerns. A custom play structure designer j o ined the des ign committee and smal l structures were proposed for the site. The staff supervisor completed the grant proposal without p lan drawings but instead a verbal proposal . I am not certain i f m y report and drawings were inc luded in the grant appl icat ion, it is inc luded in the appendix. The grant monies were eventual ly rewarded in fu l l . 3.8.5 International Conference and the end o f design duties Tap ing o f ch i ldren ended in M a y and the f ina l concept was drafted and rendered. It was presented to the parents committee and received favourable rev iews f r o m them. It was apparent that construct ion w o u l d not progress as planned as we were c o m i n g into summer and contractors were not yet arranged. It had been a hope o f the administrator that members o f her society cou ld do the labour but there was a lack o f certainty regarding the budget and the st ipulations that were attached to the money . The administrator o f the centre met w i th the city o f Vancouve r ' s soc ia l p lann ing , environmental health and l i cens ing, and Vancouver Boa rd o f Parks o f f i c ia l s concerning budget issues but also to discuss the design. I was not p r i vy to these meetings and had stopped active des ign act iv it ies. In June, I traveled to Istanbul to present a paper on the inf luence o f the market i n ch i l d ren ' s ' outdoor play spaces at the U n i o n o f International Archi tects congress. M y experiences i n the spr ing had enl ightened me to the fact that perception o f p lay had been rad ica l ly changed and infected by the l obby ing and communicat ions o f p layground equipment manufacturers. A l t h o u g h m y part icular project d id not inc lude manufactured equipment at this point hear ing the stories o f m y col league, Chandra Lesmeister , lead me to bel ieve that many o f the new p lay spaces i n Vancouve r wou ld contain equipment and that manufacturers had been aggressively market ing at ch i ld care centres. 34 U p o n m y return i n late summer, I learned that in order to proceed w i t h the project, a registered landscape architect w o u l d need to be contacted as I d i d not yet have the legal status or profess ional authority required to draft construct ion documents. A t this point I became a des ign consultant and ended m y responsibi l i t ies as the m a i n designer on the project. 3.8.6 Des ign Commit tee del iberations A landscape architect was engaged by the city and commenced active duties i n the autumn. I attended a site v is i t w i th h i m , of f ic ia ls f rom the c i ty , the administrator and the staff supervisor. F r o m m y conceptual p lan and the site v is i t , he drafted a new plan. The design committee met twice over the autumn and winter o f 2005. In early 2006 the committee found the p lan satisfactory and it was hoped that construct ion w o u l d begin i n summer 2006. D u r i n g this per iod I tr ied to understand the different inst i tut ional cultures o f design committee members and their motivat ions. 3.8.7 Dra f t ing o f the O f f i c i a l P l an A final p lan was produced by the landscape architect o f record and approved. W h i l e this p lan was different f r om m y or ig ina l concept p lan, for example the e l iminat ion o f landforms and inc lus ion o f a c l imber , I was pleased to have contr ibuted m y vo ice to the process, he lp ing to shape a space where play w i l l occur. 3.8.8 R e m o v a l o f c l imber and the future o f the site The c l imber was destroyed in the summer o f 2006. A t this t ime I v i s i ted the site to take photographs, I not iced on the sand where the c l imber had been traces o f the ch i ldren mak ing canals. A new c l imber is to be instal led i n the same place as the o l d i n Novembe r o f 2006. The area where the sand is w i l l be F I B A R , an engineered w o o d fibre. 35 3.8.9 F ina l Iteration For some t ime I had considered deve lop ing an ideal des ign, one wi thout constraints o f budget. In summer o f 2006 ,1 developed new design concepts that ref lected a l l the knowledge that I had gained over the per iod o f two years. A l l the research consol idated into a strong des ign v i s i on , based on a l l the data col lected. It is the des ign proposal that is presented i n this thesis. 36 4. Findings The findings here relate to the site and the process o f design. They f o l l o w earl ier f indings made by Outside Cr i te r i a i n the Seven C ' s (Her ington and Lesmeister 2006) . The latest f indings add to the strength o f the earl ier work by Outside Cr i te r ia and help to establish the case for procedural change for des ign committees. The f ind ings also establ ish a course o f act ion for the final des ign iteration o f the study site. The f indings presented here are organized i n categories: phys i ca l site improvements required, relevant l iterature, v ideo observat ion, mechanics o f the C s , obstacles f rom planning process, and histor ica l in format ion. 4.1 Findings from the Physical Site The site, at first impress ion , needed very l itt le change. The context o f the park and the presence o f large spec imen trees give shade, cont inual change and prov ide f ramed v iews to Los t L a g o o n and Stanley Park. The f indings f rom the field observat ion and the interview pointed out areas where improvements cou ld be made. These changes inc lude incorporat ing a slope into the fabric o f the designed landforms, c l a r i f y ing spatial def ini t ions, w o r k i n g w i t h re- use elements and careful considerat ion o f the ground surface as a place for p lay . 4.1.1 Chal lenges o f Topography The site is located on s lop ing terrain, quite a steep grade at the southwest end o f the site ( 1 8 % grade) and w i t h a ta l l retaining w a l l at the southeast. S l op ing terrain is rarely judged as suitable for ch i l d care p lay spaces. The north end o f the site is very close to sea level , the entire area hav ing once been t idal flats. The slope presented a chal lenge because it had been designed for automobi les rather than the movement o f young 37 pedestrians. (N i cho l l s & Lesmeister : F i e l d Observat ion, 2004) It was perce ived as a dangerous element o f the site because o f its grade(Staff Interv iew 2004) . The s lop ing terrain also meant that dur ing winter months the l o w point o f the site was inundated w i t h runoff . Study o f the topography i n the context o f the greater area show this site as a water co l lec t ing site. 4.1.2 L a c k o f tacti le vegetat ion and qualit ies o f change i n the yard Ana l ys i s o f the vegetat ion on site showed that although there was the appearance o f a h igh amount o f vegetat ion on the site (see i l lustrat ion 3), most o f it was not what cou ld be considered tacti le vegetation. Ch i l d ren ' s activit ies w i th vegetation at the ch i l d ' s level (p ick ing, co l l ec t ing , h id ing wi th in ) witnessed at other centres i n our study d id not have an opportunity to occur here. The amount o f tactile vegetation is very l o w (see i l lustrat ion 4) consider ing the context o f be ing i n a park. Furthermore, the spec imen trees on the site were for the most part evergreen w h i c h have less v isua l l y apparent changes over the seasons. Th i s contr ibuted to a lack i n the qual i ty o f Change as out l ined i n the Seven C s . 4.1.3 L a c k o f Spat ia l De f i n i t i on and C lar i ty There was a lack o f sub-space def in i t ion. (N icho l l s & Lesmeister : F i e l d Observat ion 2004, Interview w i t h staff 2004) . P ieces o f equipment (bridge, p layhouse, toddler and preschool c l imber , swings) tended to define the sub areas. The equipment d i d , however, create strong subspaces underneath as a cave-like space and on top as a prospect point. The playhouse was a frequently used subspace but tended to be used by on ly one ch i ld at a t ime The spatial compos i t ion o f equipment left awkward and unused spaces at the edges. The pieces o f equipment were not integrated into the landscape or any thought g i ven o f h o w these spaces w o u l d interact or be connected. The designed asphalt pathway, w h i c h 38 defined the " i s l a n d " o f the m a i n p lay structures, was not used because the equipment created many "dead spaces" around it. The structures reduced the overa l l c lar i ty o f the space by occupy ing the centre o f the yard. 4.1.4 The p rob lem o f Re-Use elements The yard was retrofitted for the purposes o f ch i ld care and therefore some o f its spaces were def ined by elements o f the previous tenants (such as an asphalt d r i veway and parking lot) rather than w i t h the needs o f ch i ldren in m i n d . Th i s mater ia l and spatial intrusion into the p lay yard breaks the unity o f the outdoor yard. The asphalt area at the Southeastern part o f the site, used for wheeled toys, was or ig ina l l y intended for use as a park ing lot and is not suitable i n scale or materials. There is no de f in i t ion o f space, no spatial clues for c i rcu la t ion or funct ion i n this area except for the pre-exist ing curbs that frequently pose a safety hazard to the ch i ldren (N i cho l l s & Lesmeister , staff interv iew, 2004). The dr iveway into the space f rom the Southwest is the way the youngest ch i ldren must enter the yard. There is no sense o f arr ival when arr iv ing i n the ma in space at the bottom o f the slope as the dr i veway just continues to cut across the yard and terminates i n the o ld park ing lot. Th i s manner o f entry is forced due to the retrofit heritage house and the fact that it is not deemed safe for the toddlers to use the stairs i n the house. The dr iveway and park ing area f o rm strange, unjust i f ied subspaces i n the yard and w o r k to degrade the connect iv i ty , c lar i ty and character o f the space. The re-use elements were also the first elements ident i f ied by the administrat ion for desired removals on site (N i cho l l s , Des ign Mee t ing notes 2004) . 39 4.1.5 G round P lane materials The yard had a h igh degree o f porous materials such as sand, grass and dirt. It also had large areas o f asphalt (209m 2 ) . The ground materials, as f loors for subspaces, were not w e l l def ined. The grass was not do ing w e l l due to the ac id ic soi ls created by coniferous leaf litter, be ing located i n a water co l lect ing area and repeated foot traff ic . 4.2 Findings from the literature The Seven C s arose f r om an extensive rev iew o f the literature by Lesmeister and Herr ington (2006). The f ind ings here extend upon the earl ier w o r k by Lesmeister and Herr ington. These areas inc lude the sequence o f ch i l d development, p lay and its role i n development, the role o f the environment in language development and mode ls for analysis o f space related to early ch i ldhood development. 4.2.1 Sequence o f Deve lopment Ac commoda t i ng for the ch i ld ' s development i n phys ica l des ign requires an understanding o f the pr inc ip les o f deve lopmenta l theory. These pr inc ip les are he lp fu l to understanding the way ch i ldren mature and grow. They also fo rm a we l l researched base f r om w h i c h to observe ch i ldren f rom. Ident i fy ing ch i ldren 's development and needs is best done through observation. (Mar t in 2004) A g e and stage constructs created by developmental psychologists are methods for organiz ing ch i l d development into understandable sequences. Passages f r o m one stage to another are measured by acquis i t ion o f sk i l l s or milestones. Understanding these ideas o f the stages helps the designer to create basic developmental ly appropriate designs. C h i l d care p rov i s ion usual ly d iv ides the stages as infancy, toddlerhood, preschooler and school age. These stages are t yp ica l l y associated w i th age groups that vary f r om culture 40 to culture. Other mode ls inc lude Freud 's psychoanalyt ica l approach, E r i k son ' s psychosoc ia l approach, P iaget 's developmental psycho logy mode l and A l l e n and Maro tz ' s age/stage prof i les . The f o l l ow ing important pr inc ip les i n the development literature are out l ined by Ma r t i n i n her book on observ ing ch i ldren, Take a L o o k (2004). These f o l l o w i n g eight pr inc ip les are useful to the designer to reflect upon when p lanning outdoor p lay environments for early ch i ldhood : 1. Attachments to people are necessary for a ch i ld ' s development and should be accommodated i n the ch i ld ' s environment ( Bow lby , 1965; A i n s w o r t h , 1972). 2. Y o u n g ch i ldren learn f r om direct, first hand experiences in their environments and are the ma in constructors o f their o w n knowledge (Piaget, 1954). 3. Adu l t s can be facilitators o f learning, l ike gardeners i n the ch i l d ' s garden (Froebel , 1826). 4. Through assessment o f what a ch i l d knows and can accompl i sh chal lenges can be developed that help the ch i ldren to per form at a new leve l o f s k i l l . V y g o t s k y describes this as the zone of proximal development. (Vygotsky , 1978). 5. Learn ing can be extended by observ ing the ch i ldren 's current abi l i t ies and mak ing strategies that br idge one level o f development to the next. Th i s is k n o w n as scaffolding (Bruner, 1966). 6.1ntelligence is mult i faceted and should be prov ided for through p rov i s i on o f a w ide range o f experiences.(Gardner, 1993). 7. C o m p l e x interplay between ch i ldren and their environment enables them to search for meaning (Bandura 1977; M a r t i n , 2004). 41 8. H u m a n development occurs w i th in a soc ia l system made up o f networks ; the soc ia l , po l i t i ca l , economic , and re l ig ious aspects o f the ch i ld ' s environment w i l l inf luence development (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Observat ion o f ch i ld ren , through the lens o f these ch i l d development pr inc ip les , lays the basic groundwork for understanding the whole ch i ld . Observat ion o f the sequence o f development develops a r icher image o f the ch i l d and what they are capable o f do ing . Deve lopmenta l mi lestones o f ch i ldren are inc luded i n the appendix for reference but it should be noted that they cannot replace the direct observat ion o f the ch i ldren themselves. 4.2.2 Env i ronment , P lay and Deve lopment Research shows that ch i ldren 's development is affected by interactions w i th their environments. Piaget is often cited in this research. Piaget developed the idea o f stages of psychologica l deve lopment or the development of cognit ive processes. He embraced a constructivist theory, i m p l y i n g that chi ldren are not passive recipients o f a g iven environment but that the ch i ld plays an active role in the construct ion of their knowledge of the wor ld . Piaget surmised that ch i ldren construct knowledge by us ing certain tools of the m ind to organize their wor ld . H e termed this adaptation, a process wh i ch "humans modi fy their environments to f i t their personal needs as we l l as themselves in response to their env i ronments " (VanHoorn et a l . , 2003). The two main aspects o f adaptation are assimi lat ion and accommodat ion , wh i ch interact to act as a source o f learning and development. ( V a n H o o r n et al. ,2003) Ass im i l a t i on , new elements and experiences are incorporated into ex is t ing structures of thought. In accommodat ion , ex is t ing structures of thought are changed to accommodate a new experience. The env i ronment plays a key role in this process o f construct ing knowledge. A n environment l ow in changeabi l i ty presented to the ch i l d w i l l offer l i tt le opportunity for the process o f accommodat ion to take place. Organ ic matter, being in a state of f l ux and changing over t ime, is excel lent for the purposes o f wi tness ing change in space and experience. 42 Change and f l ex ib i l i t y in environments is often cited in the literature as necessary elements in a ch i l d ' s wo r ld for development and learning to take place. " C h i l d r e n require a range o f play opportunit ies i f they are to achieve fu l l developmental potent ia l " (B rown, 2003). B r o w n coins the term compound flexibUity, def ined as the " interre lat ionship between a f lexible/adaptable environment and the gradual deve lopment o f f l ex ib i l i t y/ adaptabil ity in the c h i l d " ( B r o w n , 2003) Th i s v iew contends that there is great developmental potential in the play environment i f it is properly considered. W h e n the environment is suitably f l ex ib le it initiates a cyc le of development and learning sparked by the ch i ld ' s inqui ry . The theories of L e v V y g o t s k y compound the importance o f the env i ronment and play in the young ch i ld ' s development. V y g o t s k y ' s main contr ibut ion to development theory was the idea of zone of proximal development(\91%), referring to the ch i l d ' s social interactions as essential to development, play is the source o f these interactions and occurs as a result o f shared chal lenges in the environment. T o the designer this impl ies that the phys ica l space where play occurs must be conduc ive to a range o f socia l interactions. There must be places o f sol itude, of camaraderie w i th one or two fr iends as we l l as areas for congregat ion o f the whole group. A space that is undifferentiated in character makes these sorts o f relations di f f icu l t . V y g o t s k y also stressed the importance of symbol i c play. He observed that young chi ldren use objects to represent other objects and cal led these objects o f the ch i ld ' s imaginat ion pivots. Pivots help the ch i l d to anchor meanings o f words. Therefore a sword fern in a play yard cou ld contribute to the ch i ld ' s understanding o f swordness ( long pointy object at one end wi th a handle(stem). F l ex ib i l i t y in objects and social relations contributes pos i t ive ly to the ch i ld ' s development. A cont inuum of socia l part ic ipat ion in play was proposed by Parten(1932). Based on structured observat ions, she developed categories of social play: on looker behaviour, solitary play, paral lel play and group play. Spaces that prov ide opportunit ies for the fu l l range of these activit ies a l low for social development and subsequent benefits of 43 development in that area as proposed in Vygo t sky . Observat ions by Outs ide Cr i te r ia noted that organic play spaces, those wi th plenty of l i v i ng matter and we l l considered subspaces, tended to show more group play than less complex environments (Herr ington et al.2005). In spite o f the w ide body o f literature i n support o f outdoor p lay and its role i n development, there is s t i l l d i f f i cu l ty conv inc ing others o f its importance. The reasons are to be found i n people 's percept ion o f play. P lay i tse l f is hard to def ine. Perceptions o f p lay dif fer across a w ide spectrum and not a l l def in i t ions recognize development as an outcome o f p lay (Bruce 1991; B ruce 1997). The lack o f a c o m m o n def in i t ion and understanding o f the role o f p lay in development hinders its accommodat ion into early ch i ldhood programs(F isher 1996). Th i s contributes to the percept ion that outdoor play environments are not worthy o f the same attention as the serious learning environments o f the indoors. Outside Cr i te r ia bel ieves that p lay is one o f the most important factors i n the young ch i ld ' s development. P lay plays a s ignif icant role in the development o f ch i ldren i n a l l domains. P lay is the vehic le through w h i c h a ch i ld bui lds understanding o f the wo r l d (Piaget, 1962) 4.2.3 P lay and its role i n Language Deve lopment P lay has an especia l ly power fu l role in deve loping language. It offers opportunit ies and contexts to communicate w i th other ch i ldren and w i th adults. It g ives younger ch i ldren solitary t ime to verba l ize i n private and thus increase conf idence. (Wor tham, 2003) . P lay stimulates innovat ion i n language (Garvey 1977; Bruner 1983; L e vey 1984; Frost 1993). P lay introduces and c lar i f ies new concepts and words ( Smi lansky 1968; C h u k o v s k y 1971). P lay motivates language use and practice (Vygo tsky 1962; Smi l ansky 1968; Garvey and H o g a n 1973; Garvey 1977; Bruner 1983). P lay develops meta l inguist ic awareness, w h i c h is def ined as a different k i nd o f language performance where ch i ldren become aware o f the f o r m o f language in itself and requires different cogni t ive demands 44 than speaking and l is tening (Cazden 1976). It can be indicated by an abi l i ty o f the ch i l d to manipulate language elements p lay fu l l y (Co l l i e r , 1979). P lay also encourages verbal th ink ing (Vygotsky 1962). 4.2.4 Language development and environment "Landscapes were the first human texts, read before the invent ion o f other signs and symbols . C louds , w i n d and sun were clues to weather, r ipples and eddies signs o f rocks and l i fe under water, caves and ledges promise o f shelter, leaves guides to f ood ; b i rdca l ls warnings o f predators. Ea r l y wr i t ing resembled landscapes; other languages-verbal, mathemat ica l , graphic-derive f rom the language o f landscape" (Sp i rn , 1998). No t unl ike the early humans ment ioned in this quote f rom Sp i rn , ch i ldren also learn f rom landscapes. Ch i l d r en ' s actions i n the material wo r l d prov ide s t imu l i for conceptual development (Harr is i n Otto, 2002) Objects, people and actions presented to the young ch i ld fo rm the ch i ld ' s understanding o f a culture's priorit ies (Menyuk , 1988). The interrelativity o f phenomena is developed by the ch i ld ' s experiences i n the wor ld . The method and qual i ty o f s ymbo l acquis i t ion forms the basis o f the way they w i l l understand culture, society and the material wo r l d in the years to come. Lea rn ing occurs through first hand experiences o f the wo r l d (Piaget, 1953) rather than v icar ious experiences. Therefore, it is important when p lann ing spaces for ch i ldren to insure that the environment i tse l f can prov ide experiences that are r i ch and comp lex i n nature. A ch i ld ' s explorat ions o f language occur s imultaneously w i th explorat ions o f their environment. In toddlerhood, a stage most often heralded by the ab i l i ty to wa lk , telegraphic speech o f infancy gives way to speaking i n s imple sentences. The preschool age is considered the most important t ime for language development. There is dynamic interaction that connects explorat ions o f language and explorat ions o f environment. 45 Ch i ld ren f o rm strong socia l relationships with each other through their interactions and day to day activit ies. Language serves as a negotiating tool for socia l interactions. Conversat ions may be monitored for assessment of the level o f socia l development. P lay can also be observed to moni tor socia l development of ch i ldren (Parten 1932). G i v e n the right environmental c ircumstances chi ldren w i l l f o rm strong, posi t ive and cooperative relationships w i th one another. 4.2.5 Ana l y t i c a l mode ls o f outdoor spaces for early ch i ldhood Kr i t chevsky (1969) i n a pioneer ing work for the N A E Y C developed a method o f understanding the phys i ca l space o f early ch i ldhood institutions. She deve loped the idea that a play space is made up o f contents and empty spaces. Contents conta in p lay units wh i ch are measured for complex i t y , variety and amount to do per ch i l d . C o m p l e x i t y , i n Kr i t chevsky ' s mode l is measured by the extent a play unit "conta ins potential for active manipula t ion and alteration by the c h i l d r e n " (Kr i t chevsky 1969). Va r i e t y i n the mode l is measured by h o w many activit ies a ch i l d is inv i ted to do w i th the var ious p lay units. A m o u n t to do per ch i l d is the measure o f h o w many ch i ldren the unit can accommodate. The spatial organizat ion o f units is addressed in terms o f c i rcu la t ion , art iculat ion o f space, f l ex ib i l i t y and p rox im i t y o f storage to units. C i r cu l a t ion refers to the need to provide a clear path f r om the perspective o f the ch i ld . A r t i cu l a t i on o f space refers to the need for the p lay yard to have surfaces unimpeded by permanent equipment. These spaces must be balanced and articulated w i th the designed c i rcu la t ion to avo id dead space. The path, p lay units and empty spaces must be arranged in a way to complement each other and prov ide clar i ty f r om the ch i ld ' s point o f v i ew. Herr ington and Lesmeister address most o f these ideas i n the Seven C s (2006). The language i n this w o r k is more oriented to the designer than K r i t c h e v s k y ' s wo rk and the Seven C ' s incorporates the latest i n research since K r i t chevsky ' s landmark work . One major point o f departure f r om K r i t chevsky ' s mode l is the considerat ion o f character and 46 context o f an outdoor p lay space, w h i c h was not explored by K r i t chevsky . Herr ington and Lesmeister 's m o d e l is more hol is t ic i n approach and attempts to l i nk more c lose ly the specif ic sequence o f development i n early ch i ldhood to elements i n the phys i ca l environment. The idea o f conceptua l iz ing space as a zone for activit ies is proposed by Esbenson (1987); E r i k son and G u d d e m i (1992) and R i v k i n (1995). It has frequently been misappl ied by designers who do not understand development or the nature o f ch i ldren 's play. Th i s misapp l i ca t ion usual ly occurs when the designer creates an ar t i f i c ia l zone as a themed spatial unit rather than a place where the ch i ld ' s act iv i t ies can be accommodated. Ac t i v i t y l ists a l l ow des ign teams to see i f a l l developmental domains are be ing suff ic ient ly addressed i n the phys ica l space. E r i ksen developed a l ist o f act iv i t ies that were l i nked to the developmenta l domains w h i c h cou ld be consulted when mak ing places for activit ies i n the outdoor p lay yard . These models are he lp fu l for the designer to speci f ica l ly l i nk development w i t h phys ica l space. 4.2.6 Precedent Sites The Infant Garden Susan Herr ington 's Infant Garden at Dav i s , Ca l i f o rn i a played an inf luent ia l role in developing the conceptual p lan for the study site's outdoor yard. In the art ic le, The Received View of Play and the Subculture of Infants{\991), Herr ington outl ines the infant garden as a design alternative to the culture of b land, corporate play apparatus and their role in the denigrat ion o f the idea of being outdoors. The garden was designed wi th the assumption that the landscape can "comprehens ive ly support the four domains (phys ica l , soc ia l , cogni t ive , emotional ) essential to the development of young c h i l d r e n " (Herr ington, 1997). The paper also outl ines a process that begins w i th stakeholders stating their goals for the outdoor space, analysis of ex is t ing space, translat ing 47 development theory into landscape form, spatially arranging the forms in a manner that was clear from a child's perspective and articulating the form through careful choice of materials that enhance development and exploit the unique qualities of being outdoors. Herrington outlines 5 main elements in the design, a central mound with a sand area at its centre, a pine circle, a maze, a mist field and a paving mosaic. The materials selected for these elements were carefully considered to provide developmental opportunities. Cornelia Hahn Oberlander's Expo 67 Children's Creative Centre Cornelia Hahn Oberlander's work with children's spaces is influential and inspirational to this work. Oberlander was an informal advisor to the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation in the beginning of the placement of child care centres within park boundaries. Her design for the Children's Creative Centre at Expo 67 in Montreal shows a sensibility of the designer in translating observations of children at play into designed forms. She achieved in her design a total environment for the concept of "education for creativity." It was a restful, garden like atmosphere of gentle mounds, pine trees and hedges. It was purposely built to contrast with the concrete and asphalt jungle of the city. It provided an opportunity for active and creative opportunities. The main spatial organization was a sand area with a canal running through the space. There was an area for children to build structures with logs, an old boat in which children could rock in, and a stovepipe tunnel. The nursery area was enclosed by a cedar hedge and had a water play area, a sandbox, rabbit hutches, a playhouse, a teepee, flowerpots and step seating to ease integration for children new to the space. Robin Moore's environmental yard Robin C. Moore, early in his career, interpreted the theories of child development into design practice. He has contributed greatly to the research concerning the use of vegetation to fulfill developmental needs. In Plants for Play (1993), Moore considers the 48 tactile, auditory, o l factory , v isua l and play value o f different types of plants. He makes suggestions for spec i f ic plants for speci f ic purposes. M o o r e is no stranger to the area o f ch i ld development, he has devoted his career to researching ch i ldren and the relat ionship to their environments, most notably in the book Childhood's Domain (1986). In this earlier work he appl ied Brof fenbrenner 's eco logica l approach to the study of ch i ldren 's spaces, l ook ing in part icular at the way chi ldren perceived their spaces and the manner in wh i ch chi ldren extended themselves in their environments. M o o r e ' s design approach to ch i ldren 's spaces is best expressed in his environmental yard at the Washington Schoo l in Berke ley , Ca l i fo rn ia . The space was once most ly surfaced wi th macadam. The M a c a d a m surface had tradit ional metal play apparatus and painted l ines for bal l games. There was a smal l garden used for students gardening activit ies. However , in the 1950s the entire area was asphalted over. M o o r e and associate Herb W o n g init iated the process o f change in the yard. A task force was organized compr i s ing of teachers, parents and volunteers. Together, they began to draft a pre l iminary v i s ion for the yard. They transformed the space wi th the help of commun i t y partners into a naturalized landscape that had water and vegetative elements. M o o r e , through his organizat ion, the Natural Learn ing Init iative, continues to advocate for the prov is ion of natural spaces for ch i ldren. Bengsston's Play Space Case Studies Case studies of p lay spaces, wh i ch reflect broader a ims than safety, are to be found through the research o f A r n d t Benggston in his book, Environmental Planning for Children's Play. The book explores the phenomena o f designer-led p layground design o f the 1960s and 1970s. H i s to r i ca l l y , the designer p layground movement in Nor th A m e r i c a was an outgrowth o f a larger urban reform movement in the 1960s (Brett, et a l . , 1993). The players in this process were c i v i c leaders, designers, educators and park/ recreation of f ic ia ls . Arch i tects and Landscape architects such as R i chard Dattner and M . Pau l Fr iedberg encouraged the part ic ipat ion of the communi ty and ch i ldren in deve lop ing spaces for ch i ldren. B o t h have examples of their work featured in Bengsston 's book. The 49 great difference in approach compar ing then and now was that the designers conceived of the whole space of the p layground and how the architectural elements related to one another, today 's approach is much more product and consumer or iented, w i th equipment being instal led and the landscape accommodat ing it, rather than deve lop ing a whole concept for the playspace itself Lesmeister's design Chandra Lesmeister developed a design for the outdoor yard at a U B C laboratory ch i ld care centre. She used the pr inciples of Herr ington 's Infant Garden as we l l as Herr ington and Studtmann's Yard to Garden{\99%). The yard design is the f irst appl icat ion of Outside Cr i ter ia ' s method of analysis. The design was also the f irst to apply the design criteria o f the 7 C s into phys ica l f o rm . 4.3 Findings from Video Observation " W h e n I was asked to design the p layground, I asked m y s e l f what ch i ld ren l ike to do? R u n , c l imb , bu i l d , feel contrast ing textures, see colours, those are things ch i ldren enjoy. I saw m y role as an interpreter for the ideas o f the educator and to relate those to design pr inc ip les . " (Corne l i a H a h n Oberlander: Bengsston, 1971) Understanding what ch i ldren l ike to do requires observ ing them. Th rough observat ion, the ch i ld becomes a part ic ipant i n the design process. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers can rarely verba l ize and reflect upon their o w n play let alone represent it i n drawings and wr i t ing . The best way to incorporate their ideas is to f o l l o w their p lay narratives, watch facial expressions, measure durat ion and engagement. V i d e o is a power fu l med ium to record the ch i l d ' s part ic ipat ion i n the process. The v ideos communicate and educate the 50 designer i n h o w the ch i l d l ikes to p lay . They offer clues to the invest igator about what makes a good place to play. Here are f indings in the v ideo data gleaned f r o m m y analysis o f the study site. 4.3.1 Sequence o f development not designed for i n the space. Toddlers ' requirements i n the play yard are different f rom those o f preschoolers. The unregulated mixture o f the two groups requires greater intervent ion o f caregivers, ra is ing the stress o f the caregiver and interfer ing i n the free f l o w o f play. Moreove r , none o f the yard is scaled for toddlers. M o v i n g about the yard on their o w n is d i f f i cu l t and the lack o f clarity i n subspaces and c i rcu la t ion creates a dangerous cond i t ion for toddlers. M o s t o f the designs for the toddlers are mere ly scaled d o w n versions o f designs for preschoolers. Th is difference i n sca l ing without thought o f the different funct ional needs and use patterns is k n o w n as scaling fallacy ( L i dwe l l , Ho lden & But ler , 2003) . Th i s pushdown phenomena is a frequent p rob lem in the design o f equipment and activit ies ( L o w m a n and Ruhman,1998) as w e l l as the phys i ca l environments designed for this age group (Dodge, Dombro & K o r a l i k , 1 9 9 1 ) . Toddlers were witnessed most ly watch ing preschoolers p lay and testing their abi l i t ies to move about the site. On looke r p lay (Parten, 1 9 3 2 ) , the beg inn ing stage o f development o f socia l p lay , a l lows toddlers to witness the stages o f development that l ie ahead. In the v ideo, toddlers are often observed watch ing the co-operative p lay o f the preschoolers. They require a space where they can feel safe to do so though, otherwise there is a r isk o f stressful events occur r ing such as be ing knocked over. Stressful environments and the negative experiences that they produce can impede the bra in development o f toddlers (Shore 1997). These negative experiences have a "dec is i ve impact o n the architecture o f the brain and the nature and extent o f adult capacit ies" (Shore 1997). Preschoolers, on the other hand, d id not have suff ic ient phys i ca l chal lenges. The i r play was quite sophist icated w i t h a h igh degree o f cooperative pretend p lay and language use. They made do w i t h the materials at hand but again the spatial arrangement and subspaces 51 prov ided d i d not reflect their p lay patterns. The structures p rov ided d i d not interest them in terms o f their phys ica l chal lenge except for the elements on them that are n o w prohibi ted by current l i cens ing regulations. The preschool ch i ld ren were observed quite often attempting to create their o w n subspaces w i th materials at hand. W i t h more support in the spatial arrangement, these spaces and opportunit ies can be enhanced. 4.3.2 Spaces for interact ion: subspaces, mal leable materials and loose parts The play o f the ch i ldren , the preschoolers i n particular, showed that they created their own subspaces from us ing loose parts and mal leable materials such as sand and water. The play structures were used as a locat ion for interact ion, not accord ing to their designed intent ion, but rather co-operatively transformed into dens by the ch i ldren. The l o w point o f the site was used extensively for the creation o f a " rush ing r i v e r " made w i th shovels and a garden hose. These exist ing areas for interaction were areas that cou ld be enhanced and designed to extend play. The toddlers d id not have a space o f their o w n where they cou ld safely watch the play o f others, nor d id they have an area where they cou ld safely interact w i t h each other. Further, because they were not w e l l prov ided for i n the yard i n terms o f landscaping or equipment, it was not iced i n the videotapes that toys were b ickered over by toddlers, a frequent s ign o f a lack o f opportunity to engage w i th the environment. 4.3.3 Organ ic elements create opportunit ies for language exchange E lements such as topography, vegetation, water, sand and gravels prov ide opportunit ies for language exchange. Ch i l d r en were observed ta lk ing to trees, negot iat ing the creation o f a r iver together, creat ing a den cooperat ively , ta lk ing about the topography as an imaginary house w i t h an upstairs and downstairs and d iscuss ing the locat ion o f a squirrel . 52 These were on ly a few o f the many examples where ch i ldren were the environment offered ch i ldren the chance to communicate w i th each other. These opportunit ies serve to further language development. 4.4 Explorations in the way the Cs operate- the mechanics of the Seven Cs The design cr i ter ia out l ined by Herr ington and Lesmeister (2006) are non prescr ipt ive and f l u id and are meant to be used interactively rather than serve as a checkl is t for designers. There are certain inner work ings and cluster ing w h i c h can act as tools for designers to shape spaces. These are out l ined in this section. 4.4.1 Change and Chance work together to define subspaces and outdoor rooms Change addresses the different scales o f space w i th in a larger space, c o m m o n l y referred i n this work as subspaces. Spaces are scaled to house different types o f soc ia l interactions as def ined by Parten(1932). Chance refers to the materials that a l l o w ch i ld ren to make an imprint on their space and to witness changes in weather and season. (Herr ington and Lesmeister, 2006) The sca l ing o f space and its furn ish ing w i th materials that activate change and chance determine the character o f a subspace or outdoor room in the yard. 4.4.2 Context and C la r i t y help define Character The subspaces, when w e l l considered for change and chance, and reflect the context in w h i c h they are located, help to define character o f a space. Context relates to the processes that are happening on a site and therefore are a direct acknowledgement o f the landscape the yard is located i n . Context also reflects the surrounding condi t ions and history (Lesmeister 2005) . C la r i t y refers to the readabil i ty or l eg ib i l i t y o f the space. W h e n subspaces are we l l considered i n scale and material and reflect the context o f the site, they contribute to clar i ty. Th is c lar i ty, in turn, helps define the character o f the space. 53 Un i t y i n character comes f r om a sum o f the parts rather than an overarch ing theme from the designer. 4.4.3 Character is the vehic le w h i c h binds a l l the elements o f the cr i ter ia together Character is the co l l ec t ion o f a l l the elements and h o w they contribute to the general feel o f the p layground. A l l o f the other C s w i l l f o rm the character o f the yard . L i k e w i s e , a careful considerat ion o f character w i l l inf luence decis ions made about the component parts o f the yard . Character is a m u c h more power fu l too l for the designer than a contr ived theme. The former impl ies the expression o f values and mean ing , whereas the latter impl ies an adult concept that w i l l be readable by adults but may not be perceived by chi ldren. 4 . 5 Obstacles from the planning process Obstacles found in the p lann ing process o f the project may be indicators o f the di f f icul t ies o f transposing an innovat ive mode l , such as the Seven C s , to a non lab school context. The presentation o f f indings here are obstacles that were encountered dur ing the p lanning process. 4.5.1 Di f ferent approaches to p layground design not we l l understood The tradit ional approach to des ign o f p lay space, o f equipment be ing p laced on the landscape, is what is i n the minds o f most adults when contemplat ing ch i ldren 's p lay (Herr ington 1997). M o d u l a r and metaphor-based equipment tend to be what is chosen for pub l i c p lay areas. These types o f p lay areas are what Her r ington cal ls " t oken gestures o f ch i ldhood that s ign i fy p lay " (Her r ing ton 1997). Du r i ng a des ign committee meet ing at the park daycare, the administrator expressed an expectat ion that metaphor based equipment w o u l d be inc luded i n the p lan (N i cho l l s , Des ign Mee t i ng Notes 2005) . Later i n the 54 process a des ign committee member l ook ing at the f ina l i teration o f m y p lan expressed a concern that the ch i ld ren w o u l d not have anything to interact w i t h (N i cho l l s , Des ign Mee t ing Notes 2006) . These perceptions o f h o w play is designed for, and adult concepts o f play areas for ch i ld ren is an obstacle to pursuing new approaches, it requires a communicat ive and educat ional role on part o f the designer. 4.5.2 Part ic ipatory mode l requires designers/planners w i th special t ra in ing and sk i l l s Francis(2002) identi f ies one o f the setbacks o f the proactive ch i ld ren ' s part ic ipatory mode l is that it requires designers and planners w i th special t ra in ing and sk i l l s i n the methods o f proact ive practice. These sk i l l s include negotiat ion, po l i t i cs , and the abi l i ty to lead cross-discipl inary teams (Francis 1999). C l ients tend to be more fami l i a r o f the tradit ional culture o f profess ional practice where they seek profess ional assistance and service determined by the c l ient ' s desires rather than the designer 's v i s i on . The relat ionship between designers and the communi ty is "restr icted by the culture o f practice, contract l a w and concerns w i th l i ab i l i t y " (Francis 1999). The designer i n us ing a proactive mode l faces the d i f f i cu l ty o f hav ing to take on the roles and responsibi l i t ies o f the phys ica l des ign but also has to act as faci l i tator, communica tor and educator for the new approach. Th i s invo lves a t ime commitment and engagement that many Landscape architects w o u l d f i nd d i f f i cu l t . The level o f engagement requires a l l members o f the design committee to understand the importance and funct ion o f landscape i n the ch i ld ' s l i fe. The language used to exp la in such concepts is sometimes perce ived as "expert-based" and can alienate participants (Kap lan & Kap l an , 2004) . 4.5.3 Frame o f Safety The f raming o f a l l p lay space issues into that o f r isk vs. safety w rong l y places a l l the emphasis and d iscuss ion o f p lay values on this issue alone. D u r i n g the staff interv iew answers regarding the quest ion o f h o w the staff w o u l d l ike to transform their yard , many participants c i ted safety interventions (N icho l l s & Lesmeister , S taf f Interv iew notes 55 2004). Safety as a value or desire l im i ted more creative responses seen at other centres in the greater s tudy (N icho l l s , workshop notes, 2004) . The lack o f predictabi l i ty i n the chi ldren 's p lay was frequently seen as a negative (N i cho l l s , D e s i g n meet ing notes 2005). E lements that were not fastened d o w n were perceived as dangerous, especia l ly stones and gravel (N i cho l l s , D e s i g n meet ing notes 2004, 2005). Po l i c y and regulat ions regarding safety i n the play yard we igh d iscuss ions toward these issues. The inf luence o f the Canad ian standards Assoc i a t i on i n f o rm ing po l i c y and perception regarding p lay spaces and its negative effects on early ch i l dhood centres i n particular are explored i n greater detai l i n research by Herr ington and N i cho l l s (2006 ) . The f indings o f this research indicated that the C S A standards " focus on technical informat ion concern ing structural integrity, performance requirements, and maintenance of materials and play structures, left behind the needs and desires o f c h i l d r e n " (Herr ington and N i c h o l l s , 2006) . Furthermore, spatial requirements mandated in the standards for fa l l zones and no-encroachment areas had the detrimental effect of reducing the area for non-equipment play as we l l as the e l iminat ion , in certain cases, o f the ground plane as a place for play. L i ab i l i t y issues also l o o m large for the landscape architect. The issue o f w h o is l iable for p layground injury is a wor thy subject to be explored but w i l l not be l ooked at here. The perception among the landscape architecture commun i t y is that landscape architects are l iable (N i cho l l s , D e s i g n meet ing notes, 2006). They do not seem to be l iab le by po l i c y or regulations but to quote the project 's landscape architect: " w h o wants to take the r i sk ? " (N i cho l l s , D e s i g n Mee t i ng Notes , 2006). In professional practice courses for landscape architects it is taught that they are l iable for p layground injury wi thout differentiat ing the unique po l i c y and regulat ion that governs p lay spaces at l icensed ch i l d care centres as opposed to pub l i c parks or school grounds (N i cho l l s , U B C C lass Notes , 2006). There are three m a i n differences between a ch i l d care centre and a pub l i c p layground. The first is that the outdoor play spaces at ch i ld care centres are not intended for use by 56 the general pub l i c . Secondly , ch i l d care centres are p lanned w i t h l im i ted spatial parameters. P rov inc i a l regulat ion sets the m i n i m u m outdoor space for c h i l d care at 7 m per ch i ld . Las t l y , ch i ld ren and staff use these outdoor p lay spaces on a da i l y basis. The chi ldren i n these spaces are supervised at a l l t imes. Du r ing discussions w i th the des ign committee it was noted that vegetat ion and porous ground plane materials, such as sand and gravel were perce ived as menac ing and a threat to the ch i l d ' s safety. In this part icular project, edible plants were perce ived as undesirable because o f their abi l i ty to attract loca l w i ld l i f e such as raccoons and rats (N i cho l l s , Des ign Mee t ing Notes , 2006) . Ed ib l e vegetation i n an urban landscape is often perceived as unhygien ic (Ka ld j i an 2004, C lass notes 2006). Porous materials such as sands are often discouraged because o f the poss ib i l i t ies o f animals defecating i n them, especial ly cats. In neighbourhoods where drug use is h igh both vegetation and porous materials are suspected o f concea l ing used intravenous needles. The study site is located i n a ne ighbourhood that is perceived to have an increasing drug user populat ion. (O 'Conno r , 2006) The des ign committee, however , d id not identify the r isk o f I V needles as a concern. A l l o f these factors tend to move the d iscuss ion away f r o m the benefits o f these materials to framing them as poss ib le detriments to the ch i ld . The result is that the ch i l d is v iewed as vulnerable rather than strong or capable. 4.5.4 Dif ferences i n Institutional Cultures The presence o f dif ferent institutions o n the des ign committee presented a bas ic p rob lem to communica t ion between parties. E a ch inst i tut ion had its o w n part icular culture and phi losophy and these are at. t imes i n conf l ic t . C h i l d care centres located i n shared publ ic spaces, l ike parks, are regulated by several separate institutions and are more susceptible to the machinat ions o f three levels o f government. In the case o f a park c h i l d care centre, the institutions invo l ved are the Boa rd o f Parks and it operations w i n g , The C i t y o f Vancouver Fac i l l i t i es Management team and Department o f Soc ia l P l ann ing , The Vancouver Coasta l Hea l th Author i t y as representatives for the P rov ince o f B r i t i sh 57 Co lumb i a ' s M i n i s t r y o f Hea l th , the Society that administers the c h i l d care service, the U n i o n representing the early ch i ldhood educators and in the case o f the study site, The Un ivers i ty o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . Du r i ng the process o f des igning this study site, the representatives f rom these institutions d id not a lways ph i losoph ica l l y or po l i t i ca l l y agree. Each had its o w n perceptions o f the infrastructure o f care i n early ch i ldhood . Each Institution has a different organizat ional structure as w e l l w i th different stakes and accountabi l i t ies i n the des ign process. Aesthet ic issues and graphic c lar i ty are one o f the areas where disagreements can occur. The play o f early ch i l dhood can be messy, and some bel ieve, should be messy for the benefit o f the ch i l d ' s development. Th i s mess, p laced i n the pub l i c eye, is perceived by some in the same way as an uncut l awn in suburbia: a subject for quiet d isapprova l and lobby ing o f pub l i c bodies to remove the unsight ly i tem f rom v i e w and earshot (Vancouver Boa rd o f Parks, Superintendent's fond, 1974). E a ch Institut ion i n the process has its o w n sense o f what the aesthetic o f play spaces should be. The reading o f p lan drawings and conceptual drawings is also perceived differently by the separate institutions (N i cho l l s , Des ign meet ing notes 2005, 2006) Th i s lack o f a c o m m o n sense o f aesthetics and graphic c lar i ty can sometimes lead to d iscord i n the process. Shar ing o f values is often cruc ia l to success for innovat ive projects (Francis , 2002b) . F ranc is ' case study o f V i l l a g e Homes is one such example. The Deve lopers employed a participatory mode l i n c o m i n g up w i th the design concept. Part ic ipants i n the mode l bought i n to the ideas behind the design. Outside Institutions and new residents o f the communi ty often d i d not share the values o f the pioneer commun i t y and this compromised the integrity o f the or ig ina l idea (Francis, 2002b) . S im i l a r things occurred dur ing the process o f determining the fate o f the study site. Disagreements occurred when participants who were not invo l ved w i th the or ig ina l process j o i ned the D e s i g n Commit tee and exerc ised veto o n the early des ign concepts (N i cho l l s , D e s i g n Mee t i ng Notes , 2 0 0 5 , 2 0 0 6 ) . The different t ime demands o f the separate inst itut ions also made dialogue regarding these issues d i f f icu l t . 58 Last ly , the percept ion o f the inst i tut ion o f ch i l d care varies f rom inst i tut ion to inst i tut ion and ind i v idua l to i nd i v idua l . A l t h o u g h d i f f i cu l t and sensit ive to engage or map , attitudes regarding ch i l d care affected decis ions made by the Des ign Commi t tee members. The design proposal occurred dur ing h igh ly po l i t i c ized debates between federal pol i t ic ians surrounding the issue o f the inst i tut ion and va l id i ty o f universal ch i l d care. The stabil ity o f the infrastructure o f care is not secure and providers wor ry about budget issues. L a c k o f commitment f r om governments is problemat ic to the institutions dea l ing w i t h the issue and decis ions are made qu i ck l y i n order to secure whatever fund ing is avai lable from the government o f the day lest it dry up when a succeeding government takes power. 4.5.5 Issues o f t ime i n the des ign process P lanning for p lay is done for a relat ively short t ime per iod. P lay equipment is replaced every t ime a new standard makes the o ld equipment obsolete. Equ ipment wears and decays. Th i s means that p lay is a lways being planned for the short term by p lac ing objects on the landscape. The more long term v i e w w o u l d look at landscape i tse l f as a suitable accommodator for ch i ldren 's play because landscapes, a l though changing over t ime, do so in an organic and evolut ionary manner. Designers se ldom understand the t ime that ch i ld ren spend i n the yard and the fact that enthusiasm for equipment based play qu i ck l y fades through day to day use and ult imately results i n increasing the boredom levels o f the ch i ldren and disenchantment w i th their place o f p lay . 4.5.6 Costs o f materials and labour The current construct ion c l imate has sent prices o f materials and labour to unsustainable levels, ch i l d care centres, w h i c h have l imi ted budgets, are often unable to af ford qual i ty materials or the services o f a landscape architect. The project 's landscape architect l i ked the ideas presented i n m y p lan but expressed that my p lan was the " $ 5 0 0 0 0 0 dol lar p l an . " (N icho l l s , D e s i g n M e e t i n g Notes , 2006) . Because the process o f pub l i c l y funded construct ion requires insurable contractors and the sourc ing o f materials through them, 59 the budgets for projects get qu i ck l y expended. I f large areas o f hardscape or labour-intensive work is required the budget is often not suff icient. The budget for this project was der ived f r o m consul tat ion o f R S means for N o r t h A m e r i c a w h i c h prov ides a method for estimating work . Howeve r the leve l o f cost in the Vancouve r area is above that presented i n RS means, a directory put out every year to guide N o r t h A m e r i c a n contractors' p r i c ing , w i th the imp l i ca t ion that, at the present t ime, est imat ing budgets o f projects is d i f f i cu l t at best and imposs ib le at worst. Th i s type o f c l imate is very unfavourable for ch i ldren 's outdoor play spaces and presents perhaps the greatest obstacle to implementat ion o f innovat ive designs for early ch i ldhood . 60 5. Site Design and Proposals for Action The f o l l ow ing sect ion inc ludes a design proposal that reflects an ideal s i tuat ion: the lack o f budget restraint and des ign st ipulations o f funding bodies. The sect ion also encourages participants i n the des ign process to use memory as a tool i n the des ign process. Last ly it outl ines suggestions for changes to the design process and spatial p lann ing for ch i l d care. 5.1 Design proposal The proposal presented here is the final iteration o f the design o f the study site. 5.1.1 Des ign Intent The design intent is to translate the " fundamenta l theories o f early soc ia l , emot iona l and sensorimotor development into landscape forms, textures, and images" (Her r ington 1997). The discovery and rea l izat ion o f the poetry and revelat ion o f landscape processes are also gu id ing ideas i n the design. A second intent was to capital ize on the context o f the surrounding topography and its expression w i th in the site and incorporat ions o f design elements that assisted chi ldren i n reading, inhabi t ing and mak ing an impr int upon the landscape. A th i rd intent was to create spatial def in i t ion , unity and deve lopmenta l ly appropriate challenges through landforms, vegetation and ground plane materials. Th i s invo lved increasing the c lar i ty o f the overa l l space through careful considerat ion o f the design o f sub-spaces. 5.1.2 Internal log i c o f the design The context o f the yard is that it is situated both in the park and at the edge o f the urban gr id . It was dec ided to relate the vectors o f the design to one o f four systems, that o f the 61 l ines o f the urban gr id , the radia l pattern suggested by the spec imen trees, the vectors o f the slopes i n the topography and/or the geometry o f the architecture's pos i t ion i n the landscape. Mater ia ls used i n the yard also reflect the transit ion f rom an urban space to an organic space. The hardscaped areas f o l l o w the architecture and urban gr id l ines and dissolve into the slope vectors and radia l patterns as the park is entered. The Edward ian history o f the site is a l luded to by the vert ical elements o f the cedar hedges that f o l l o w the radial l ines o f the trees. The vectors o f the slope are carr ied through the site by the proposed undulat ing l andform. The undulat ing h i l l s serve the purpose o f g i v i ng fo rm to processes happening o n the site. The shaping o f the land also creates prospect points for the chi ldren to l ook outside o f the yard into the park. These v i ews are f ramed by the vert ical hedges. The effect is intended to create different tableaus for the ch i ld ren to observe the outside goings on i n the park. The draft ing of the f ina l design concept encompassed three ma in ideas. The first was that the site should inc lude places where the chi ldren could interact in different socia l groupings accord ing to their stage of development. The second, the site should provide opportunities for language expression. The third not ion, was that the yard should be cogni t ive ly cha l leng ing to the chi ldren hav ing a degree o f mystery and plenty of things to discover and del ight about. The yard was d i v ided into a ma in area for the toddlers at the Northeast end of the site and a preschool area at the Northwest end of the site. Bo th groups share the Nor th central part of the site. The areas are c lear ly delineated by vert ical planes o f evergreen vegetation. Interactions between the chi ldren were designed by creating a series o f outdoor rooms and gathering spaces o f vary ing scales to accommodate different types o f socia l interaction and play. Un i t y is achieved i n the des ign by us ing vert ical elements, i n most cases vegetation, to create def ined areas that are sequenced to reflect the ch i ld ' s development and offer a range o f experiences as the ch i l d moves through the space. The three major vert ica l separations created by the hedges relate the perimeter trees to the architecture o f the 62 house and the canopy to the ground plane. The areas created by the vert ica l elements o f the h i l l s and hedges are connected by pathways created by stepping stones, footbridges, and asphalt paths cut f r o m the ex is t ing asphalt. The site is located on a slope at the end o f the c i t y ' s urban gr id and the site is a water col lect ing area for runo f f destined for Los t L agoon . Cap i t a l i z ing on these two site condit ions were the basis for the p lan in its f ina l fo rm. W o r k i n g o f f o f the c i t y ' s urban gr id l ines, the l ines o f the house and the radia l l ines suggested by the spec imen trees on site a spatial p lan was developed that defined subspace areas accord ing to an internal log ic der ived f r om the processes o f the site. 5.1.3 The new subspaces expla ined Red Rectangle This red br ick p l aza is the place o f entry into the playspace for a l l the ch i ld ren . It is so named because o f the red br i cks and the co lour o f the Nandina domestica 'firepower' shrubs that frame the space. It is scaled so that a l l ch i ldren can gather i n the space at once for group activit ies l ike danc ing, s ing ing i n chorus, and group games. The co lour o f the space gives it a d ynami sm and activates the ch i ld ' s excitement upon ar r i v ing i n the outdoors. T w o strips o f ex is t ing asphalt are preserved and act as indexes for pathways into the yard. The mass p lant ing o f Nand ina that surround the rectangle also serve to direct c i rcu lat ion to other parts o f the yard. Hydrography-Pebble Rill and dry creek Surrounding the N a n d i n a plant ings o f the red rectangle is a large c i rcu lar pebble r i l l that provides a separation between the p laza and the other areas o f the yard . The pebble r i l l is part o f the hydro log i ca l system o f the site, it col lects water f rom the slope and redirects it to a dry creek. The dry creek offers opportunit ies for play w i th water and the shaping o f canals and waterways. It is p laced i n the area where ch i ldren currently create their " r i ve rs . " The pebble r i l l and the dry creek reveal the processes o f the site hydro logy and 63 also help to delineate the separation o f toddler space and preschool space. The dry creek is an area that is shared by both age groups. The dry creek is f ramed by plant ings and offers areas that can be used for solitary play and co-operative play a l ike . The presence o f gravels that can be m o l d e d contribute to the elements o f change and chance i n this space. Prospect Hill This l andform sits at the centre o f the site taking the place o f where the c l imber used to be, the borders o f the cedar hedges at the east and west define it. O n the prospect h i l l are large boulders to sit o n , arranged i n a c i rc le to prov ide a good place for c i rc le t ime, c l imb ing activit ies and survey ing the goings on o f the p lay space and park. The h i l l is planted w i t h resi l ient fescue. The l andform also directs surface f l ows o f water into the pebble r i l l and dry creek. Preschool sand play area Situated to the southwest o f the site and south o f the ch i ldren 's decks is a large sand play area. The conifers to the south o f this area frequently drop cones and other leaf litter that cou ld be used for the ch i ldren sand creations. The p rox im i t y to the decks also means that the transfer o f materials such as sand to the decks cou ld be made easier, turn ing the decks into a locus for the co l l ec t ion o f loose parts and porous materials as imaginary p lay props. Preschoolers' deck The decks are sites for the interactions o f preschoolers. They can be programmed in a variety o f ways and serve as sites for the interventions o f ch i ld ren i n the play site. Centred around a large ex is t ing Thuja plicata, the decks are observat ion posts for the changing o f the seasons and a place where the ch i l d can observe the sequence and narrative o f the p lay space. The decks are solely for the older ch i ld ren , their use being a rite o f passage by the oldest preschoolers and a place where they can ref lect upon and fo rm a v isua l memory o f this t ime in their l ives. 64 The decks w o u l d be made o f cedar. A n d have ample space for the placement o f tents upon them, w h i c h w o u l d a l l ow the ch i ldren to have a dry place o f retreat dur ing the rainy season. Tiger's den This is a preschool sand p lay area direct ly east o f the decks. It is so named because it is framed by the native t iger l i l y , Lillium columbianum planted two rows deep. F l ank ing behind the l i l ies is woodrush (Luzula sylvaticd). B o t h o f these plants are suitable to the acidic condit ions o f the so i l and are w i th in the associat ion group o f the spec imen trees. The t iger l i ly is k n o w n to attract the Rufous hummingb i rd . The palette o f this space w o u l d be orange and b rown f r o m the co lour o f the vegetation and leaf l itter f r om the trees. The vegetation both frames and colours the space. Opportunit ies for language exchange are avai lable through the introduct ion o f elements that establish and attract change over t ime (see f igure) this cou ld be said o f a l l subspaces i n this section. The sand a l lows the chi ldren to make an impr int o n the space. Merrybell grove The merrybe l l grove is a sand play area framed by plant ings o f merry bel ls {Uvular ia grandiflord) and Pendulant sedges (Carex pendula). The co lour palette here is l ight green-yellow. The pendulant sedges are offered as a play prop (the pendulant buds can be picked) and a l l ow the ch i ld ren to witness the change o f seasons. They prov ide a h id ing space i n the summer when the sedges g row long. The space is f ramed at the east and west by hedges. The t iger 's den lies to the west o f this space and there is a storage area for toys that l ies between these two spaces. Poppy circle This area i s at the head o f the dry creek and is f ramed by blue poppies (Meconopsis grandis), copp iced Salix pupurea #157, pedulant sedges and sword fern. The co lour palette here is green-blue-purple. The area is designed at the meet ing o f the toddler zone and the preschooler zone and is meant to be shared by both groups. It is an area where 65 r i l l s can be made and it is also a great place for h id ing games. The spiral shape also , a l lows for sol itary p lay as one ch i l d can situate themselves around the bend f rom other chi ldren i f need be. The space is easi ly supervised f rom any o f the h igh points on the site and the w i l l o w s offer enough transparency for ch i l d minders to see what and where the chi ldren are. The w i l l o w not on ly a l l ow ch i ldren to witness seasonal change, they can also be used for cu r r i cu lum act iv i t ies, p lay props and they relate to the w i l l o w s direct ly outside the yard at the edge o f Los t Lagoon . Toddler hill The toddler p lay h i l l is connected on the same vector as the two other created play h i l l s in the space. It is an area where the ch i ldren and their minders can observe the active play o f the preschoolers f r om a safe distance. The area is f ramed on the west by Choisya ternata, M e x i c a n m o c k orange, a plant w i th a sweet fragrance and showy white b lossoms. It serve the funct ion o f a fence as it is a broadleaf evergreen w i th a dense and bushy habit. The ground plane is a fescue. F r am ing the eastern edge o f the h i l l are mass plant ings o f sword fern (Polystichum munitum) a plant that does we l l for the so i l cond i t ion and shade o f this area. The sword fern 's fronds can also be employed as play props. There are in formal sand p lay areas around the east side o f the h i l l s , w i th a l o w w o o d ra i l ba lanc ing beam running between them. The sand may be p layed i n or prov ide a soft l and ing to the young gymnasts. Terrazzo cycle path A planted is land o f F l ame grass (Miscanthus sinensis) replaces the ex is t ing asphalt o f the previous park ing lot and helps frame the terrazzo c yc l i ng path. The cyc le path lies at a lower grade than the surrounding areas. The cont inuat ion o f the asphalt vector f rom the red rectangle w o u l d cut through the space on a diagonal a l l ow ing for a straight passage to the swings. The terrazzo w o u l d a l l ow for var iat ion i n co lour and texture o f the path d ivers i fy ing the experience o f us ing wheeled vehic les i n this space and s l ow ing down " t ra f f i c . " The path at the northeast t ip w o u l d have cobbles w i th spaces between where the 66 children could watch surface flows from rain go into the drain. During dry weather it would offer variation in texture. At the southernmost tip of the path is the black garden, an area of black mondo grass. Adjacent to the cycle path and between the cycle path, the house and the red rectangle is the tricycle pad, an area where tricycles and wheeled vehicles are stored. There is a slight grade change here that raises it above the cycle path. Here wheeled vehicle riders can exchange gossip and plan their riding activities. 5.1.4 Circulation devices Stepping stones The primary way of navigating through the site is by stepping stones. These serve not only as indexes for movement but are also elements for play. Scanning memory most people remember games in which the spatial definitions of the ground plane served as cues for imaginary games. Examples of which can be seen in avoiding cracks in the sidewalk lest your mother be injured, or using stepping stones as safe points in an "ocean full of sharks" or a "river" full of alligators. The stepping stones thus serve as the point of refuge from these imaginary threats. Asphalt axis The major divisions of the play yard (toddler, preschooler, cycle area) are indicated by the asphalt axis, a remaining strip of the former material of the site. It indexes 4 directions to and form the house, the preschooler area, the toddler area and the cycle area. It ends when crossing the pebble rill at the northeast and northwest but continues to the swings at the southeast. Hedge gates The hedge gates direct the flows of east west traffic in the site. They are also a referent to the Edwardian history of the site. 67 Footbridges The footbridges indicate areas where the pebble r i l l is to be crossed. They are f ramed by Nand ina domest ica ' f i r epower ' w i t h in the c i rc le formed by the pebble r i l l . 5.2 Incorporation of memory in design process Ca l l i ng upon memory o f one 's ch i ldhood and more spec i f ica l ly h o w one p layed as a young ch i l d often serves to remind us o f the experiences that ch i ld ren enjoy. Some people have v i v i d memor ies o f the places they spent their ch i l dhood and the spatial qual it ies o f the space. A l t h o u g h there is a r isk o f nosta lgia c l oud ing percept ions , I believe that memory o f one 's ch i ldhood is a power fu l too l for people w h o des ign chi ldren 's spaces. F i rs t it creates an empathy w i th ch i ldren. E v e n i f a tough ch i ldhood was experienced and it was i n adverse condit ions, the desire to seek something better for ch i ldren w i l l be a by-product o f this contemplat ion. The r i sk is o f those w h o had very nice places when they were ch i ldren that they attempt to recreate to the letter the experience o f their ch i l dhood , w h i c h again leads to adult desires and ideas o f p lay being imposed on ch i ldren. Nevertheless, I bel ieve that ca l l ing upon memory enriches the d iscuss ion and deepens the meaning o f the spaces created for a l l i nvo l ved . 5.2.1 The incorporat ion o f the designer 's memories o f p lay into this des ign W h e n deve lop ing this des ign, I cou ld v i v i d l y remember the fee l ing o f runn ing through the undulat ing paths o f the forest direct ly adjacent to m y ch i ldhood home. B lessed w i th a large wood lo t used by horseback riders many o f m y preschool experiences occurred there w i t h m y brother. I a lso have strong memor ies o f h o w the space w o u l d constr ict a long the path and open up , usua l ly onto a sand field w i th ferns at the edges. 68 The spaces i n m y des ign do echo these ch i ldhood spaces i n some ways . The memor ies a l lowed me to feel what these spaces w o u l d be l ike to the ch i l d exper ienc ing them. Ac tua l l y go ing back to those places w i t h m y daughter a l l owed me to get a sense o f their scale, and I cou ld see that she found the same del ight in them that I had 30 years ago. The path ended i n a t r i ck l i ng and curv ing creek that eventual ly lets out into the Ottawa R iver , wh i ch in turn empties into the St-Lawrence that leads to the Ocean. It is m y place o f beginning. I bel ieve that I unconsc ious ly expressed the spirit o f this place i n this design 5.2.2 The incorporat ion o f memory o f site and memory o f inst itut ions I bel ieve that the understanding o f both the site's history and the inst i tut ion 's development helped me ga in a picture o f m y actions taking place i n an evolving context. It also helped me understand the posit ions o f the var ious institutions i nvo l ved i n the design del iberations. Understanding the memory o f the site a l lowed me to imagine it before the current cond i t ion and to see the degree o f change that had occurred. It also a l lowed me to l ook outside o f the site and place it in the greater context o f landscape processes and re lat ion o f people to those processes. I real ize many designers don ' t have t ime to explore these histories but I bel ieve that it is a useful too l to d iscover the sites where early ch i l dhood centres are located and the stories o f their establ ishment. 5.3 Sugges ted C h a n g e s to d e s i g n p rocess a n d spa t i a l p l a n n i n g i n d a y c a r e 5.3.1 Prochaska 's mode l for Change The process o f chang ing the way we design fo r p lay in order to real ize the fu l l potential of the outdoors as a vehic le for ch i ldren 's we l l being and development requires fu l l commitment f r o m al l members of a design team. The current process o f des igning for outdoor play needs improvement . The insistence that pieces o f equipment are necessary as elements o f p lay and ins ist ing that the p layground be entirely r isk free are f l awed 69 posit ions that are not made evident by research. A col lect ive de lus ion engages populations invo l ved in the design process for chi ldren across Nor th A m e r i c a . The enthusiasm for shiny new equipment as a panacea to the chal lenges o f des ign ing for chi ldren is not founded in reason or research. The obsession with safety and the bel ief that only equipment w i l l de l iver it wastes entire budgets on products that are rarely used, require expensive surfac ing and act ively reduce the area in wh i ch ch i ldren truly enjoy p lay ing. Resort ing to equipment catalogs, in l ight of evidence and research that f inds equipment doesn' t f u l l y provide for the ch i ld ' s developmental needs, is a repetitive and harmful practice of designers and planners that requires change. The Outside Cr i te r ia study found that equipment was on ly used 1 3 % o f the t ime dur ing a play period. O f that 1 3 % , it was further broken down into activit ies that f o l l owed designed intent or activit ies that were not according to designed intent. Y e t play planners continue to commi t a majority of their budgets for the outdoor space to equipment. Prochaska identif ies a f i ve stage mode l for the change process ( P rochaska l992 , Prochaska & Norcross 2002) . Th i s model may be effective for deve lop ing new approaches o f design for the outdoor play spaces. They are focused steps toward achiev ing change. The advantage of this model is that it is proactive and reflects the research model presented here. The role of the designer in this process can be that o f guide, educator and consultant. It has to be emphasized that al l institutions invo lved must engage the process f r om the beginning and together i f the change is to be successful . The stages ident i f ied in the process of change are: Precontemplat ion, Contempla t ion , Preparation, A c t i o n and Maintenance. Precontemplation. Populat ions invo lved do not have an active intent ion to change the current way of do ing things or the qual i ty of their environment. They may real ize that things are not perfect w i th the status quo due to the comments and cr i t i c i sms of external bodies but they themselves feel that little can be done in the near future. The role of the designer here is to encourage the process o f change and gently nudge the participants 70 towards engaging the process by delivering insights into the benefits of changing the way things are done. Contemplation. The populations involved realize that a problem exists and are willing to take action towards remedying a problem in the near future. The designer here helps the participants come to realize what is not working by engaging in a dialectic method of inquiry with participants at the beginning of the design process. Preparation. Intention combined with a new behavioural criteria begins the process of changing the way things are done. Small changes to the way of doing things are attempted. Still, a criterion for action is not yet ready to make the large changes required. The designer helps the participants prepare a course of action by developing a criteria for change. The designer's role is akin to that of an "experienced coach preparing a game plan or reviewing the plans of others"(Norcross and Prochaska, 2002). Action. The populations modify their behaviour, experiences and environment in order to overcome problems. There is a large commitment of time and energy to the problem. There is external recognition of the changes. Here the designer becomes consultant and expert advisor, being the source of information for the population who have begun to take matters into their own hands. Maintenance. People work to consolidate and build upon the gains of the action stage. They apply the skills learned during the action stage to new situations that arise. The designer remains in the consultant role but plays less of an active role and more of a supportive one. Termination. The new way of working forms into a new paradigm for the populations who were involved in the change process. They now are in the position of helping and advocating for others who desire to undergo the process. The designer has now gained new advocates within the institutions devoted to planning for outdoor play. This makes the designers' future job of convincing others to change their approach to play. 71 The model is a useful frame for the proactive design process. Its application may reduce some of the frictions and obstacles in the current process. 5.3.2 The Reggio Emilia Environmental planning model In Reggio preschools, part of the environmental planning process is to identify shared values and passions of families, teachers and community. From this point of departure it is easier to determine which materials, equipment and routines are congruent with identified values (Fraser, 2003). The Stakeholders meet, develop lists, rework lists and thus obtain ownership of the values they identify in common. Once lists are completed the space is assessed to see what needs to be changed in the space to reflect the things stated as important by the group. The questions that are posed in this moment of clarity are: How well does the (space) reflect the values the group has identified? What overall message does the space convey to children, parents and other visitors? How will the environment mirror an image of the child that is rich powerful and competent? How well does the arrangement of the room reflect our respect for children, families and the community? Does the environment offer experiences that heighten multisensory awareness? Leila Gandini, a curriculum planner with Reggio elaborates on the model: " In order to act as an educator for the child, the environment has to be flexible: It must undergo frequent modification by the children and the teachers in order to remain up to date and responsive to their needs to be protagonists in constructing their knowledge. All the things that surround the people in the school and which they use-the objects, the materials, the structures are not seen as 72 passive elements that condition and are conditioned by the actions of children and adults who are active in it" (Gandini,1998). This requires the constant discussion and modification of the physical space because each chosen element has meaning and either adds to or deters from the stated philosophy of the centre. It also places much of the responsibility into the hands of the educators. It should be noted that local administrative bodies in Reggio Emillia are sympathetic to the system of care there and realize its strengths. Loris Malaguzzi, one of the minds behind Reggio displays the level of commitment and engagement that the people of Reggio Emillia have with their environment. He states: "We value space because of its power to organize, promote pleasant relationships between people of different ages, create a handsome environment, provide changes, and promote choices and activity and its potential for sparking all kinds of social affective and cognitive learning. All of this contributes to a sense of well being and security in children. We also think that the space has to be a sort of aquarium that mirrors the ideas, values attitudes and cultures of the people who live within it."(Malaguzzi: Fraser,2003) Reggio provides an example to people that change is possible. Centres in British Columbia have employed the model to a good degree of success in the indoors of their centres. Transferring the spatial principles of Reggio to the outdoors of the centre would be a positive move. It is possible. 5.4 Conclusion The journey undertaken in this research is a long and continuing one. The arrival of my daughter gave the situation more gravitas. We must improve spaces for our children. It is not only in the interests of parents and the infrastructure of care to engage in this, we must engage it as a society. Recent literature such as Louv (2005) show that the degradation of public space for children is playing a hand in making our society and its individuals dysfunctional and detached from the context of their environments. 73 Children are physically smaller and closer to the ground than adults. The small things that we take for granted: pebbles, sticks, small flowers, insects and weeds, the minutiae and detritus of our surroundings, hold countless hours of potential for the child's imagination and offer an opportunity for them to create their world. In fact, it appears that it is necessary for children to have opportunity to use their senses in a way that allows them to distinguish the diversity of objects in their environments. Organic environments, which tend to contain many diverse and changing elements, renewed from season to season offer a stimulating sensorial environment for young children. Sensory perceptions are the main generators of our sense of place, of our bodies' movement in space and time. To a young child, these experiences build the foundations of their world and their ability to communicate that world to others. The elements that make up physical environments shape experiences and contribute to quality of life. The debate surrounding children's outdoor environments in the public realm (i.e. child care, public parks, preschools) focuses on the issue of safety versus risk, which are common adult concerns in current times. Little attention is paid to the sensory qualities of the child's space and its contribution to the child's sense of well being and safety in the world. It is crucial for the child to build a network of positive, rich experiences in space if they are to develop a strong sense of place and fully engage the world they move in. The environments that are designed for children will temper their experience, setting patterns and perceptions in motion that will stay with children for their lives. Future citizens will require empathy and understanding of their environments if we are to overcome the problems of the future such as global warming. If our desire as a society is to embrace a sustainable path then we must begin to offer rich and sensorial environments for our very youngest so that they live and breathe the future we desire for them. We need to give them life enhancing places so that they may value the spaces around them and are equipped with an innate understanding of the world. 74 The image we have of children is an important concept when approaching design for early childhood. The way that we perceive children to be will effect the way that we design for them. If the child is viewed as impressionable, vulnerable and weak this will produce an environment where all risk is removed, where the child is not asked to test her abilities. Too often this has been our image of the child in North America and we have built our environments for them accordingly. Consequently we can imagine the child as rich in potential, strong, competent and powerful. The way we form our image of the hypothetical child will temper our design and the child will react to the quality and character of spaces we have imagined for them. They will be shaped by their space. Is it not imperative that we, as designers, give them the best we can? 75 Illustration 2. The Proposed Planting Plan •o Thuja plicata artovirens Choisya ternata Miscanthus sinensis 'purpurescens' Luzula sylvatica 0 Nandina domestica 'firepower' Carex pendula o Polystichum munitum Carex greyi 0 Athyria filix-femina * Salix purpurea #157(coppiced) Lillium columbianum ft fw Uvularia grandiflora Meconopsis grandis Scirpus lacustris + Blk. mondojrass . 77 Illustration 3. The existing vegetation on the site 78 Illustration 4. Existing Tactile vegetation on the Site Illustration 5. Looking at the site from North to the South, 1974 & 2006. References A inswor th M . D. & S. B e l l . 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(Vancouver : Vancouve r A rch i ves ) Vancouver Boa rd o f Parks and Rec rea t iona l 973) Archival Fonds of Superintendent. ( Vancouve r , BC : Vancouve r Arch i ves ) . (1974) Archival Fonds of Superintendent (Vancouve r ,BC : Vancouve r Arch i ves ) . 89 (1975) Archival Fonds of Superintendent (Vancouve r ,BC : Vancouve r Arch i ves ) . (1975) Archival Fonds of Superintendent ( Vancouve r . BC : Vancouve r A rch i ves ) . V ygo t sky , L. S. (1962). Thought and language. Cambr idge , M A : The M I T Press. Vygo t sky , L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambr idge , M A : Harvard Univers i ty Press. Washington Post. Literacy of College Grads is on the Decline December 25,2005 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/24/AR2005122400701 .html Wel lhousen, K. (2002) Outdoor Play Every Day: Innovative Play Concepts for Early Childhood. (Toronto, O N : De lmar ) . Wortham, S .C .& J . L . Frost (1990) Playgrounds for young children: National Survey and Perspectives. (Reston, V A : A A H P R D ) . Wortham, S .C (2002) Early Childhood Curriculum: Developmental Bases for Learning and Teaching. (Upper Saddle R i ve r ,N J : Prentice Ha l l ) . 90 Appendix A The Program Philosophy of the child care centre presented in this study The centre's M i s s i o n is to provide excel lent ch i ld care for ch i ldren age's 18 months to 5 years through a commitment to: Creat ing a safe, fun , support ive and developmental ly cha l leng ing environment that w i l l stimulate the phys ica l , emot iona l , soc ia l , creative and intel lectual growth of each ch i ld . P romot ing self-reliance and independence in order to foster good self-esteem in al l ch i ldren. P romot ing good eating habits to help foster good health and phys ica l development by prov id ing a nutrit ious hot lunch and snacks everyday. P rov id ing a comfortable atmosphere in wh i ch chi ldren feel proud o f their cultural heritage and where cultural sharing is encouraged. P rov id ing opportunit ies for students in Ear ly Ch i l dhood Educat ion to observe the programs and to gain practical experience work ing w i th the ch i ldren. Whenever possib le , meet ing the ch i ld care needs o f fami l i es o f al l income levels , who l i ve , work , or attend school in the West End of Vancouver . W e l c o m i n g al l f ami l i es to our centre regardless o f race, re l ig ion , sexual orientat ion, economic status or parental marital status. Ensur ing the phys ica l and emotional we l l being o f each ch i ld . 91 Appendix B Guiding philosophy statements of Institutions involved in the design process for early childhood care City of Vancouver Social Planning Staff provide support, advice and informat ion to a wide range o f commun i t y organizat ions, prov ide leadership and fac i l i tat ion in br ing ing key people around a specif ic problem or issue. (City o f Vancouver , Soc ia l P lann ing Websi te , 2006.) Vancouver Coastal health Authority-Health and Environmental Licensing The miss ion o f the commun i t y care fac i l i t ies l i cens ing program is to protect and promote the health, safety and we l l be ing of vulnerable chi ldren and adults in care fac i l i t ies through educat ion, co l laborat ion and regulat ion. (Vancouver Coasta l health Websi te , 2006) 92 Appendix C Vancouver Park Board's 1974 Communique to the Ministry of Human Resources concerning the 8 Conditions of Placing temporary day care centres on or adjacent to Parks and Recreation Property. The province o f B C , Department o f H u m a n Resources to be responsible for : 1. B u i l d i n g to be painted and maintained on a yearly basis. 2. Bu i ld ings and play areas to be suitably landscaped. 3. Grass to be cut and landscaping maintained on a regular basis, to the satisfaction of the board (superintendent) 4. The daycare centre to comp l y w i th al l city by-laws and regulations and responsible for any addit ional construct ion or alteration costs. 5. Grounds and bu i ld ings to be kept clean of paper and debris at a l l t imes. 6. Underground services and w i r i ng to the centre. 7. S i t ing of the bu i ld ing to the satisfaction of the board(superintendent) 8. Wri t ten assurance that the temporary bui ld ings w i l l be removed f r o m park sites wi th in 2 years and the site returned to its or ig ina l condi t ion. (1974) 93 Appendix D 1977 BCSLA standards for daycare landscapes A ) Site plan ind icat ing variety of plant, quantity and spacing. B ) Hardy plants and maintenance free. C ) Var ie ty o f co lour , texture and f o rm . D ) Plant l ist w i th botanical name, nursery size, ultimate s ize, root condi t ion and quantity. E ) Use of ground cover rather than bark mulch . F) Trees for shade. 94 Appendix E Province of B C Safe Spaces Grant Proposal/ The Original Design Proposal P layground Renewal Table o f Contents Introduction I. Descr ipt ion o f Requ i red Upgrades a. Reorder ing o f c i rcu la t ion pathways b. Creat ion of age appropriate play areas c. Protective Sur fac ing Upgrades d. Drainage e. P lay structure replacement II. Deta i l o f Object ives a. Incorporating play structures into natural topographical features and enhancing ch i ld development and safety b. Res i l ient surfacing materials explanations. c. P rov id ing natural areas for play us ing plant material d. Mee t ing C A N / C S A - Z 6 1 4 - 0 3 standards for safe and developmenta l ly appropriate play. A n n e x A Exper ient ia l program for yard A n n e x B Deta i l o f Grass h i l l in C A N / C S A - Z 6 1 4 - 0 3 and designers detail o f grass h i l l A n n e x C Descr ip t ion of plant material A n n e x D Cos t estimates der ived f r o m R S means 2004 Site and landscape construct ion. 95 Introduction The H^^^lf outdoor yard renewal design proposal uses the latest in format ion f r om the f ie lds o f landscape architecture and early ch i ldhood development practit ioners in creating a healthy play atmosphere. In October of 2004 H H ^ I contacted The C H I L D project, a consor t ium of research groups commit ted to study early ch i ldhood development in B r i t i sh C o l u m b i a . The specif ic group that it is wo rk i ng wi th is Assoc iate professor Susan Herr ington 's Outdoor Criteria research group. The group studies the inf luence of design on outdoor play spaces and its effects on types of play. Outdoor criteria is commit ted to advocat ing for creation of ch i ldren 's spaces that enhance development and create healthy atmospheres for the chi ldren us ing them. Pooh corner daycare engaged the services of a graduate research assistant, Jamie N i c h o l l s , as we l l as the services o f ^^^^^B, to chart a new direct ion for the yard . The proposed design for ^^H^^l a ims to address current safety concerns as we l l as the developmental needs of the chi ldren us ing the space. 96 I. Description of Required Upgrades a) Reordering of circulation pathways and surfaces. The present hierarchy of circulation is not conducive to safe play. In particular, the area for wheeled vehicles needs to be redesigned and resurfaced to provide clear and safe circulation routes. An area where non riders can safely observe and wait their turn should also be provided. b) Creation of age appropriate play areas. There is presently no area for toddlers that accounts for their specific developmental needs. Furthermore, the playground needs a formal separation between preschooler areas of play and toddler areas of play. The proposed toddler area needs to be resurfaced and equipped to provide developmentally appropriate and safe play opportunities for this age group. c) Protective Surfacing Upgrades All play areas require their protective surfacing to be refilled. The retaining barriers for the protective areas must also be renovated. The provision for maintenance of these surfaces for a ten year period should also be incorporated into the long term plan for the play yard. d) Drainage Parts of the play yard should be regraded to improve drainage of site and prevent present or future ponding of water. e^ Play structure replacement The ageing structures existing on the site are deteriorating and require to be replaced with play structures that meet the standards of CAN/CSA Z614-03(hereafter referred to as "CSA standards'^  "the standards"). 97 I.I D e s i g n Ob j e c t i v e s a Incorporating play structures into natural topographical features and enhancing ch i ld development and safety Statistics f r o m the C H I R R P show that the majority o f p layground injuries result f r o m fal ls o f f of play equipment. Th i s is a serious concern of parents o f toddlers. In order to not only meet but exceed C S A standards , it was decided that the structures placed upon the site should be at grade, incorporated into the landscape i tsel f and/or at heights wh i ch do not require extensive resi l ient surfacing because the equipment is not above the l imi ts outl ined in the standards. The term "p layst ructure" as out l ined in the standards is a freestanding structure with one or more components and their supporting members. A constructed grass play h i l l is a freestanding structure that is out l ined in A n n e x F o f the standards. The standards themselves suggest us ing natural elements in A n n e x F (see section I I .d). Extensive research in the area shows that natural topography and vegetated environments are superior in terms o f safety and developmental appropriateness.( Her r ington 1997 , Moore 1997). b Resi l ient surfacing explanat ions C S A Standards out l ine the advantages and disadvantages of resi l ient surfac ing in A n n ex . Surfac ing o f play yards is often used also as a play surface whether it l ies inside or outside the no encroachment and protective surfacing zones. In A n n e x F o f the standards there is a suggestion that mal leable materials be prevalent on the site for p lay purposes. Loose materials descr ibed in C A N / C S A Z614-03 (gravel , sand, engineered w o o d f ibre) are advantageous because of their mal leabi l i ty . The first two , sand and grave l , are also extensively used for safe play that is appropriate for development. W h e n play equipment is not i n use, sand and gravel prov ide chi ldren w i th the opportunity to use the ground surface as a p lay area. Where resi l ient surfacing for fa l l zones is required, the proposed design uses engineered w o o d f ibre. In al l other cases, sand and gravel have been chosen for their play values and role in early ch i ldhood development. c P rov id ing natural areas for play us ing plant material A n n e x F and G in the standards outl ine reasons and guidel ines for us ing natural plant materials in playgrounds. Creat ing natural landscape enclosures and spaces is recommended for enhancing developmental (physica l , soc ia l , manipulat ive-cognit ive, reflective) objectives. In creating these natural areas, extensive plant material that conforms to the standards has been used. 98 d Mee t ing C A N / C S A - Z 6 1 4 - 0 3 standards for safe and developmenta l ly appropriate play The standards are the basic m i n i m u m requirements for p rov id ing safe play spaces for chi ldren. It is the object ive o f the designers of this project to not on ly meet the m i n i m u m standards but to exceed them and create a dynamic , didact ic area that addresses both the ch i ld ' s development and safety needs. The design incorporates the suggestions o f the A n n e x F in the standards (Space Requirements for Recommended P lay Ac t i v i t i es ) . In section F.3.1 Suggested Fac i l i t ies and Equipment for P lay Ac t i v i t i e s for Preschool and Kindergarten Ch i ldren (Toddlers ) : Ac t i v i t y a) Phys ica l play Suggested faci l i t ies and equipment -a hard surface route preferably a large or c i rcu lar one for wheeled toys -Faci l i t ies and space for large muscle activit ies such as c l imb ing equipment or swings -soft open space for running or bal l games b) Soc ia l play -playhouse and other structures to encourage imaginat ive play -landscaped enclosure -table and benches/chairs c )Manipula t ive cognit ive play -sand -water play, natural areas, pots and pans, outdoor b locks , boards, outdoor drawing boards. d)Quiet retreat play -enclosure: landscaped or fenced -perch or hideaway The proposed design fu l f i l l s the suggested faci l i t ies for play act iv i t ies for this age group. Under section F.2 T y p e o f site the standards emphasize wo rk i ng w i th suitable topography and specify standards fo r the bu i ld ing of grass berms as play fac i l i t ies . It further states that such h i l l s are one o f the most popular faci l i t ies in a p layground (section F.2.2). Incorporating play components into berms is a strategy that meets both developmental and safety issues as out l ined in the standards. A n n e x A of the standards outl ines in section A . 3 the elements that may appear in a supervised play area. O f these elements the proposed plan incorporates suggestions for prov id ing storage areas, water play areas (in a l imi ted fashion) , as we l l as loose materials and Garden plots. The water play area conforms fu l l y to the standards and uses manufactured elements fo r water disbursement. A s outl ined in this document earlier the design a l lows for proper drainage o f the site and avoids the poo l i ng o f water in keeping wi th the standards. Clause 4 of the standards encourages that play areas should be age spec i f i c , where a fac i l i ty is shared by school age chi ldren and preschoolers, the equipment should conform 99 to the needs of both groups. The design allows for this and surpasses it. The design delineates a separation between near infants 18months-4years and the older children 4+. This is done by use of fencing and natural vegetative fencing as is outlined in Annex G.8.3 which concerns mature plants used as dividers. The standards have been applied in every aspect of the design of this space. The design not only meets standards, it builds on them to develop a dynamic play space which also incorporates developmental needs. 100 Annexes Annex B detail of grass play hill in standards and designers grass play hill. Water play and rushing river: An area of pea gravel is shaped like a river. At the "head" of the river are 1 or 2 water spouts which a hose can be attached to. These spouts conform to standards and are off the main circulation paths CAN/CSA-Z614-03 2000 mm : transition radius © Canadian Standards, Association Figure F.l Grass Play Hill (See Clause F.2.2.) 2000 mm transition radius 2000 mm transition radius 2000 mm transition radius Figure F.2 Asphalt or Concrete Play Hill (See Clause F.2.2.) F.2.3 Layout In the planning process, potential playspaces should be investigated for the presence of any hazardous materials. Spaces for each type of activity should be well-defined. Conflicting activities, such as quiet play and physical play, should not be located next to each other (see Clause F.3.1). 702 June 2003 Grass play hill as shown in the standards. 101 102 Annex A Experiential program for play space Shared areas/flex spaces Gathering Circle and Red Garden: An area of red brick pavers, red benches and red plants provides a stimulating area for children to gather, get ready for play, and offers a transition point between the indoors and outdoors. The colour element is a sensorial delight that enhances excitement but also signifies stop for coming into and leaving the space. Cycle track: A circular track for wheeled vehicles is provided. There are areas of the track that incorporate different paving materials. This is to provide a textural, sound element to wheeled play and to also de-emphasize high speeds (that lead to potential accidents). In this way, the cycle track incorporates other developmental needs as well as the physical. Landscape enclosure: textural and picking garden: This area is composed of vaccinium angustifolium, vaccinium ovatum and rubus spectabilis. In addition to attracting birds, the fruit of the plants is also entirely edible, the plants themselves are non toxic and they contribute to the ecology of Stanley Park rather than working against it. The textural garden is composed of plants that are interesting to touch and look at. Plants such as lamb's ear are soft to the touch and impart in children a sense of wonder about the landscape. Both areas encourage children to engage with the natural world. This is beneficial to both the child's health and developmental experience. The enchanted Wood: This area is an enclosed woodland garden with open wall play houses. It provides a "forest" setting that can be easily supervised while offering children a taste of the wilderness and the greater park. Toddler area Fern walk: A path of engineered wood fibre through a low enclosure of licorice and sword ferns. The smells of the ferns and the wood fibre present an olfactory experience for the toddler. The sword ferns may be used to hideaway from peers or as play props. The area leads either to the gathering circle or the toddler play hill. Landscape enclosure 2: A planted area along the path provides enclosures for children to pause and rest in a vegetated area that will change constantly through the seasons providing different sensory qualities at different period of the year. Toddler Play Hill: A grass hill with stepping stones and a slide incorporated into it provide toddlers with both an age appropriate safe climbing experience, interaction with natural materials rather than an overly synthetic environment and it also provides an 103 observation point for the youngest o f this age group who tend to act as observers rather than active players. The berm also provides a soft open space. The berm and sl ide both conform to safety standards. (3-1 slope at height that doesn' t require resi l ient surfacing) Sand Areas : 3 sand areas are prov ided in the toddler zone. They prov ide spaces to both observe other play activit ies as we l l as offer a chance to develop cogni t ive manipulat ive sk i l l s . The sand prov ided conforms to the standards, is non tox ic and presents an excellent play surface. Cho i s ya and buddleja " f ence " : De l ineat ing the toddler area is a plant barrier o f C h o i s y a ternata and Budd le j a dav id i i . These plants act as phys ica l d iv iders to the two adjacent play areas. They also attract butterflies and have a wonderful scent. Th i s provides yet another opportunity for ol factory experience and an element o f the play space those changes w i th the season. W i l l o w s : Outs ide the grounds l ie 2 beautiful w i l l o w specimens. A few smal l shrub varieties of w i l l o w w i l l be planted to provide cont inuity w i th the outside space and to transmit f i l tered l ight and shelter dur ing the summer months. In the winter the " w h i p s " may be used as play props. Older children's area Water play and " rush ing r iver " : A n area o f pea gravel is shaped l i ke a r iver. Th i s r iver is largely imaginary. A t the " h e a d " o f the r iver are 1 or 2 water spouts wh i ch a hose can be attached to. These spouts con form to standards and are o f f the ma in c i rcu la t ion paths. The water spouts are situated at the border o f the toddler area to sometimes accommodate their need for water play. Ch i ld ren ' s garden plots: Sma l l garden plots are prov ided to ch i ldren to grow things in . W i t h the help o f care workers the chi ldren learn to enjoy wo rk i ng w i th l i v i n g material . There are many documented cases o f gardening a id ing in development and bu i ld ing self confidence. The garden plots wou ld be a place that fosters a sense o f achievement for the chi ldren. L o g tunnel: A ho l lowed log cut into sections w i l l be imported to the site. No t on ly does it provide a unique play opportunity it is also appropriate in the context o f the site. Pooh Corner is located at the edge of Stanley Park. The tree acts as a cultural reference to the site that connects ch i ldren wi th the larger park. D ry materials lab: Th i s area provides a variety of dry, loose materials for play. The idea is that chi ldren w i l l m i x and match and create their own landscape fabr icat ions (sandcastles, smal l sculpture). The dry materials lab engages the imaginat ion o f the young ch i ld . Pooh House: The Pooh house is an exist ing playhouse on the site. Its porch area w i l l be extended to meet w i th the pathway. 104 Annex C Description of plant material Latin name Polypodium Glycyrriza(evergreen var.) Polystichum munitum Cassiope Mertensiana Ajuga Reptans 'multicolor" Cassiope Lycopodiodes Salix magnifica Vancouver Hexandra S parti na Pectinata Buddleja Davidii Choisya Ternata Salix Hastata Vaccinium angustifolium Vaccinium ovatum Rubus Spectabilis Stachys byzantia Artemsia Schmitiana 'nana' Saxifraga frederici Castilleja parviflora Nandina domestica 'firepower' Vaccinium Corymbosum Lavender Myrica gale Cynodon dactylon Common name Liquorice fern Sword fern Western moss heather Ajuga Reptans 'multicolor' Cassiope Lycopodiodes Magnificent wil low Vancouver fern Marsh grass Butterfly bush Mexican Orange blossom Halberd leaved wil low Lowbush blueberry Evergreen blueberry Salmon berry Lamb's ear Silver mound Saxifraga frederici Mountain Indian paintbrush heavenly bamboo highbush blueberry sweet gale Bermuda grass Annex D Cost estimates for applicable items The estimate for the entire project is $65000 The estimate for applicable items is $27637.42 Creation of age appropriate area for toddlers Item: Play hill costs Soil-Common Borrow 105 Cubic yards of topsoil & delivery $1224 Fill with hand tamp $1995 Finish grading $ 18 Erosion control $ 750 Fertilizer $ 20 Grass slope mix #6 spreader $ 62 Lawn bed prep $ 46.50 Planting 10 shrubs $ 410 Toddler Slide and Installation . $ 6050 Stepping stones and installation $ 1208 Subtotal $11783 Provincial and Federal tax $1767.52 Total $13550.52 Item: Removal of existing playstructure Dumpster rental 1 week $ 531 Demolition work $1500 Removal fee $ 250 Subtotal $2814 Provincial and Federal tax $422.15 Total $3236.15 Item: Toddler play equipment Play observation apparatusX2(binoculars) $ 640 Installation $ 80 Voice projection toy $ 392 Installation $ 80 Play water taps X2 $ 2293 Installation $ 275 Portable Water table $ 1250 Subtotal $ 5010 106 Provincial and federal tax Total $752 $5762 Creating area for wheeled vehicles Item: Cycle track Selective removal of pavement $450 Remediation of soils and planting $1275 Selective setting of paving stones $ 675 Removal fee $ 265 Pebbled Rumble circle $1760 Subtotal $4425 Provincial and federal tax $ 663.75 Total $ 5088.75 107 


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