|M.Sc Student||Bagley Elana|
|Subject||Use and Activity Patterns in Public Playgrounds in the|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Arza Churchman|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The current research focuses on public playgrounds located in the city of Haifa and its environs. The basic assumptions defined before starting the research were: A. Playgrounds are designed to meet the needs of children, but different playgrounds will meet those needs in different ways. B. The nature of usual and irregular use of the playgrounds is associated and derives from the characteristics of the user population.
The main objectives of the research included examining the developmental needs of children, analysis of playground characteristics that contribute to development, identifying children's preferences and the environmental impact on them. Among other things, the suitability and contribution of common facilities in Haifa playgrounds were examined in detail.
The study began with a review of 85 playgrounds in 31 different neighborhoods in the cities of Haifa and Nesher. From these, 4 sub-districts were selected in Haifa, which included 14 neighborhoods and 38 playgrounds. In these playgrounds detailed attendance observations were carried out, the purpose of which was to examine the extent of their use. Only playgrounds with a sufficient level of activity were selected for further observation and examination. Already at this stage of the work surprising data was collected, showing that only half (19) the playgrounds contained any activity, of which only 12 contained a sufficient level of activity for follow-up observations. In addition to neighborhood playgrounds, 3 playgrounds were selected in city parks which were used as a comparison group for the findings in the neighborhood playgrounds.
In the 15 playgrounds mentioned above a mapping of the equipment, of the playgrounds’ surroundings, the activity time and composition of the population there, was done. Later on, 95 attendance observations, 62 behavioral observations, and 45 interviews with parents were conducted in these playgrounds.
The data obtained from the study were used for the analysis of several topics: the variety of play equipment in the playgrounds and the characteristics of the playgrounds’ surroundings; the level of activity in the playgrounds; use of facilities - a comparison of activity between neighborhood and urban playgrounds and the age distribution in the play equipment; irregular activity - distribution by age group, playgrounds and facilities; active and passive activity in the playground and on the different play equipment. In addition, a detailed analysis was conducted of various types of play equipment and characteristics of the activity carried out on them.