Written by Berliner Seilfabrik Team
With its own housing stock of around 60,000 apartments, the Berlin-based housing association HOWOGE is one of the ten largest landlords in Germany. For more than 25 years, the company has stood for sustainable inventory development, innovative housing concepts, and social engagement at various locations in Berlin. In the course of the periodic repair of the façade of a block of flats with 422 apartments in Berlin’s Hohenschönhausen district, the outdoor area was also redesigned. A varied children’s playground was created in the courtyard of the building complex. Due to the public accessibility of the farm, the play area not only benefits the immediate residents but also offers the entire living environment – including adjoining daycare centers – an exciting destination for play and movement.
“It was important to me to have a playground that caters to the needs of all ages,” said Oliver Pohlann, Landscape Architect in charge and Project Manager of Landscaping at HOWOGE. “Both the very young children and the older ones in adolescence should get their money’s worth.”
Consequently, the playground consists of play equipment with different requirements. At the heart of the toddler area is the Roo M.03 playhouse of the Spooky Rookies series, which is specifically geared to the needs of toddlers under the age of 3 for early psychomotor and social development. For example, the mud tables in the lower part of the playhouse invite you to role-play, which promotes language and social skills in a playful way. An ascent ramp makes it possible to reach the upper area of the house before descending the child-friendly slide – a form of exercise that has a positive effect on spatial perception and improved balance and coordination skills of small children.
The highlight of the play area for the “big ones” is a combination of the wooden playhouses Woodville, in which two different “shacks” share a common post. The larger of the two shacks is equipped with a transitional network, which is combined with an access net. The two shacks are connected through a balcony that can be climbed via a rope ladder or using the rocking-plate ascent. “The promotion possibilities are deliberately chosen so that they offer different levels of difficulty and also offer an exciting challenge for older children,” says Pohlann. “Even when choosing colors, it was important to me that the ropes, balls, clamps and roofs look as interesting and appealing as possible. At the same time, of course, the play equipment should fit in color with the new façade design of the adjoining apartment blocks.”
Responsible for the development of Woodville at the Berliner Seilfabrik is Katharina Hilger, engineer of the Berlin Creative Center: “My personal highlight of the Woodville playground equipment is the constructive and elegant wood protection. Both from above and from below, the wood is protected by other materials. The elevation is part of the design and the round logs do not end in the usual metal post shoes.
In addition, I am pleased about the hybrid character of individual components. This means that the parts that are subject to heavy loads when playing do not connect directly to the wood, but to stainless steel pipes, which are much more stable and resistant – and thus contribute to the longevity of playground equipment.
Rounding out the playground are two play points of the Berlin product group URBAN DESIGN. The double swing Swingo.2.4 allows two children to swing at the same time and was set for Pohlann from the beginning: “Rocking is important for a playground, it always works!”
In addition to its stylish organic design, the rocker abacus impresses with three sliding weight balls. Depending on the weight ratio of the users, these can be shifted so that people of different weights can be balanced and swung together. At the same time, the play point illustrates essential physical relationships in terms of gravity and balance. Here the children have the opportunity to get in contact with the scientific laws in a playful way.
“Not only the tenants of the adjoining apartments and the surrounding kindergartens are more than satisfied with the redesign of the playground, but also incidentally passing bypassers are now more often in the courtyard on the Dierhagener road,” says Oliver Pohlann. HOWOGE has thus lived up to its motto “more than usual”.
This is a project reference of Berliner Seilfabrik, in Germany. If you would like to create a relevant custom-made solution in Greece or Cyprus, please do not hesitate to contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Smart Bench helps Unilever in its commitment to doing business with purpose and boost innovative local campaigns for brand awareness
Algida is an Italian company which specializes in the production of packaged ice cream and is one of Unilever’s Sustainable Living Brands – brands that have a sustainable living purpose and produce products that reduce their environmental footprint or increase their positive social impact.
Unilever’s research has shown that their purpose-led, Sustainable Living Brand are growing 69% faster than the rest of the business and delivering 75% of the company’s growth. They have also discovered that over 90% of millennials would switch brands for one which champions a cause and that sustainability drives brand love and therefore brand preference. They wanted an innovative solution that would at the same time showcase their care for residents, sustainability commitment and as a consequence drive talkability and brand promotion.
“The principal way brands grow is by increasing penetration among infrequent and non-users, and this can be achieved by making your brand more memorable. We have a growing body of evidence in Unilever that a strongly articulated sustainable living purpose brought to life through communications can deliver a powerful emotional response and generate brand fame – the key drivers of memorability”
Karen Hamilton, Unilever’s VP, Global Sustainable Business
Being solar-powered and providing services for the benefit of public good, the Smart Bench was a perfect tool for strengthening Company’s relationship with people and promoting the Company’s sustainable efforts.
“People want to engage with brands that understand them and speak to their concerns. Having a sustainable living purpose enables brands to connect with them at a deeper, emotional level. I believe sustainable living brands represent a huge opportunity for the marketing world to build strong, sustainable growth and enduring consumer relationships in an increasingly resource-constrained, transparent and untrusting world. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for marketing to rediscover its original, noble purpose of developing brands that are good for business and good for the world, and reposition our profession as a powerful driver of positive social change.”
Keith Weed, Unilever’s Chief Marketing & Communication Officer
We’re here to answer any questions! Contact us at email@example.com .
Written by Berliner Seilfabrik Team
“Celebrate your Roots – discover your Wings” is the guiding principle of the German European School in Singapore (GESS). Thus the school profile focuses on conveying the European values of respect, openness and a sense of community. The private school in the Asian metropolis is aimed at students and preschoolers of all ages between 18 months and 18 years old. The school aspires to get to know every student in the school community, to discover his personal strengths and interests and, through a holistic approach, to both encourage and challenge students. The school focuses on quality not only during lessons, but also beyond them. Thus the school concept sees recess as an opportunity to supplement and support cognitive learning in class through physical exercise. Social interaction is also encouraged during recess.
Consequently, the redesign of the school campus in Singapore has resulted in a wide range of activities and opportunities for relaxation and play. In addition to various sports areas, including a football field and an Olympic swimming pool, the newly designed play areas in the inner courtyards of the school complex are also particularly striking. The school playground is divided into a total of four areas aimed at engaging all age groups.
In the first courtyard there are two different combinations of playhouses and rope playhouses from the Berliner Greenville series, each connected by different bridge elements. The bases of the rope playhouses are three-dimensional nets made of ropes inside the “DoubleBoos”. Since spatial nets offer enough space for a lot of children at the same time, they are perfect for school playgrounds. In addition, playing together in the climbing net promotes the social behavior of the students, since interactions inevitably arise. Climbing in three-dimensional space also trains the students’ psychomotor skills and 3D-imagination. This has a positive effect on mathematics classes, among other things. Thus at the neuronal level, the interconnection patterns in the brain that are also required for three-dimensional computing are stimulated.
The playground in the first courtyard merges seamlessly into a second, covered play area. Here students can climb on a low rope course consisting of five different climbing elements. “As the individual elements of a low rope course have different levels of difficulty, they are attractive for children of differing ages”, says Patrick Lee, expert in designing playgrounds and schoolyards and managing director of CT-Art.
The completely open design of the rope play equipment ensures maximum transparency. This means teachers can observe their students from every perspective, even when there are a lot of children on the climbing equipment at the same time.
This design feature is particularly beneficial for school playgrounds and is also present in the wave-shaped play sculpture “Shout”, located in the third play area of the school. A planar net with different mesh widths spans a frame made of bent steel tubes. In addition to a net tunnel, which makes the climbing ring climbable all the way around, the play sculpture has numerous add-on elements such as climbing plates, a banister and rubber mats.
All in all, more than 200 children have room on “Shout” simultaneously and can thus get plenty of exercise during recess. The various add-on elements and the differences in height within the structure also make “Shout” attractive for all age groups. In addition, the abstract structure offers plenty of room for the imagination. “The pupils can always discover new entrances to climb into, play on and experience the play equipment”, says Patrick Lee. “This offers many opportunities for pupils to act out their own play ideas and thus supports the vision of the school to promote the personal interests of each individual.”
The second large play structure in this area is a combination of three “Greenville” Trii houses of differing heights, connected by net tunnels. Students can find space up there for privacy, or rest and relax after a challenging climbing tour in order to recover before classes resume.
This play area is rounded off by two nest swings and a rotating play point. Both devices offer play functions that have a positive effect on children’s development. While swinging particularly promotes the vestibular system, i.e. the ability to coordinate body movements, eye movements and balance, turning strengthens kinaesthetic awareness in that the child learns to avoid falling down or colliding with other playmates.
In the fourth play area of GESS, a combination of two playhouses from the “Spooky Rookies” product line has been installed. This is specially tailored to the needs of small children. The two different access points, a flat ramp and a small staircase, allow age-appropriate access and at the same time offer an exciting challenge for the little ones. In addition, the passage over the close-meshed net bridge or a sliding section in the toddler slide trains the sense of balance and thus fosters the next developmental stage. Patrick Lee is satisfied: “With the counter in the lower part of the larger house, the playhouses offer the ideal space for role-playing games. Language and social skills such as empathy are developed in a ludic way.”
In addition to the high play and exercise value, the clear, organic and natural design language running through all the play areas is particularly striking. The natural color choice and the use of bamboo panels in the area of the facade elements reference the green surroundings of the “Bukit Timah Nature Reserve”, located directly in front of the GESS school gates. “The intention was to transfer this stimulating environment into the school playground through natural design”, says Marius Kotte from the Berliner Creative Centre.
With the redesign of the outdoor area of the GESS, an impressive play and exercise area has been created that not only appeals to all age groups, but at the same time fosters the students’ neuronal, social and psychomotor development.
This is a project reference of Berliner Seilfabrik, in Singapore. If you would like to create a relevant custom-made solution in Greece or Cyprus, please do not hesitate to contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
UNDP chooses Smart Bench as a tool to help municipalities hosting refugees and migrants to enhance social cohesion and connectivity
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works in nearly 170 countries and territories, including the Republic of Serbia, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and
exclusion. UNDP works in partnership with the Government of Serbia, development partners, UN agencies, civil society and local communities to help identify local solutions to meet national and global development
Migration movements since 2015 have led to an increase in the number of inhabitants in the municipalities where temporary migrants stay, leading to the change of needs that local community should respond to. These new needs include the way public spaces are used. UNDP was searching for solution with the aim of enhancing social cohesion and promotion of tolerance between all citizens, that is aligned with European Union Support to municipalities hosting refugees and migrants. The solution should also provide place for connectivity, socialization and increase of awareness of local information.
The Smart Bench powered with solar, 100% green energy, is a good example on how inclusive technologies can truly serve the community and its needs. It is also a perfect opportunity for people to meet in a public space. Charging solar ports, Wi-Fi and info screen will give the citizens an opportunity to combine virtual and real world, which would cast a new light on the way people socialize. Multi surface branding options of the bench are good for donation visibility, while digital assets (like Wi-Fi log in landing page) are great for distribution of information important for local society.
Client’s success with our product
The opening ceremony for Smart Bench installation gathered more than 200 community members, representatives of local government, citizens, migrants, NGOs and media.
Personal quote from the client
“Strawberry Energy demonstrated huge experience in the implementation of
the smart, green, social, useful and innovative solutions with the aim to built
resilient communities. We are honored and happy to cooperate with the enthusiastic Strawberry team!”
Jelena Maric Lukovic, Project Manager, UNDP Serbia
We’re here to answer any questions! Contact us at email@example.com .
Written by Berliner Seilfabrik Team
Located in northern Santa Rosa, California, the Sonoma Country Day School, an independent TK-8 college preparatory school, provides students with state-of-the-art facilities, challenging core academics and a focus on the creative and performing arts. For more than thirty years, it has been the school that “brings learning to life.”
When it came time to design the playground, the school wanted one that reflected its mission. They did not want a traditional-looking playground with traditional playground equipment. They wanted something different, something that was more challenging for the children, something that truly reflected the school.
Important elements for the design included: incorporating an existing hill and elevation into the plan, using natural materials, choosing the right colors and being cognizant of the environment. Berliner’s bamboo-paneled play equipment, which look like wood, offer greater durability and are more ecologically friendly, fit their vision.
While incorporating the hill had its challenges, such as access, the Berliner Triple Boo offered the perfect solution. The Triple Boo gives the look of a classic play house with its bamboo panels. Standing 13 feet tall, it utilizes the space well by providing play space upward, maximizing play space on a minimal ground area. It also contains a 3-dimensional rope climbing web beneath it for kids to climb in and up to the tree house. The open tube provides ADA access to the structure, enabling play for all.
The 3-story Triple Boo sits atop the hill, creating a focal point for the playground and a destination for the children.
The Joe Brown Globe, a spatial net climber with a wooden frame and natural colors, is a unique wood play piece that complements the natural playground setting. Made of glued timber, the multiple layers of dried wood make it the premier choice for a natural material while offering maximum load capacity and minimal cracking or splintering. The foundation, made of powder-coated steel fitted into the wood elements, means there is no direct connection between the bottom of the wood structure and the soil, eliminating the possibility of moisture or water damage to the equipment.
At the bottom of the hill, you’ll find more bamboo-paneled play equipment, the 2-story Double Boo with spatial net connected to a Trii with a banister and ladder.
The O’Tannenbaum spinning tree enables kids to climb and spin at the same time. Except for its trunk, the entire tree rotates. The big rubber membrane surface with its low access height enables children with special needs to join the fun, providing a place where kids can sit while spinning.
The Double Cloud 9, an accessible swing, allows several children at one time to fly on the cloud and children with special needs can enjoy the swinging movement, too.
Other Berliner play structures that complement the natural playground setting:
Swinging to and fro all the time, the Cat Tail gives children a rocking play experience. The body and stem are made of stainless steel and have a bi-colored HDPE platform to make it more aesthetically pleasing, blending with the playground’s surroundings.
Children zoom from one side to the other using the 100-foot Speedway zip line. The Speedway is a fun cable ride without bulky supports. The two big steel arches allow for a more open design and can be equipped with a launch platform.
All in all, the Berliner design team successfully met the expectations of the school.
This is a project reference of Berliner Seilfabrik, in California. If you would like to create a relevant custom-made solution in Greece or Cyprus, please do not hesitate to contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the earliest times, drums and their rhythms have been at the center of social and cultural activities all over the world, in fact, it is said to be man’s oldest musical percussion instrument. Drums have been used in every culture for many purposes from religious rituals and ceremonies, to sporting events and as a way to communicate or signal.
Drumming has also been used therapeutically since ancient times and now the primitive drumming circle is emerging as a significant therapeutic tool in the modern technological age. Drums and drumming are increasingly being used as a powerful means of improving health and well-being, personal development, and improving communication by large companies, service clubs, music therapists, youth groups, schools, and communities.
Drumming circles, ensembles, and making music together in a group can be a unifying experience – encouraging self-expression and camaraderie as well as lots of hands-on fun! Drumming together is a tool for unity. It breaks down barriers, builds personal and team confidence, releases stress, motivates, and creates spontaneity.
Many service clubs and community groups have created informal drum circles and workshops to bring children and adults together in a fun-filled, cooperative environment where they can build community spirit, and learn a new skill that they can even take away and share with their friends. Clubs such as the Wilmington Rotary who proudly unveiled the Jonathan P. Whitcomb Memorial Music Circle in their local park to engage the whole community and introduce music-making in the outdoors to people of all ages and all abilities. The music circle included several stainless-steel drums designed for permanent outdoor use and recommended for high-use public areas.
Drumming captures the heart of most who encounter it and with when playing hand drums, such as those used in the Wilmington Music Circle, you don’t have to worry about melody or chords, and absolutely NO previous musical experience is required.
So, it seems the drum continues to play a central role in our society. Why not find the rhythm and beat of your own drum? There are many drumming communities across the world promising anxiety release, physical toning, spiritual growth, creativity, and personal empowerment whilst being a whole lot of fun – and who couldn’t use that?
Benefits of Drumming and Drum Circles
Induces relaxation and reduces tension, anxiety, depression, and stress
Quite simply, drumming makes you feel great! It helps synchronize the body’s natural rhythms while making you feel as one – connected and peaceful. In one study, blood samples from participants who took part in an hour-long drumming session revealed a reversal in stress hormones.
Gives a boost to the immune system and accelerates physical healing.
Neurologist Barry Bittman, M.D. of the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute, and his research team discovered that drumming significantly increases the body’s natural T-cells, which help combat cancer as well as other viruses.
Increases energy levels
Playing with tempo and speed will get your blood flowing by speeding your heart rate slightly, improving circulation, sending oxygen and nutrients soaring through your body and brain, and giving your cells more energy to burn.
Thoughts, emotions, and sensations are interconnected elements of the human condition, and one’s entire self is affected when in pain. Whether chronic or acute, pain is exacerbated by stress and anxiety. Music therapists use drumming as a method of holistic pain management, with the influence of rhythm and beat being felt on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.
Boots confidence and releases negative feelings and emotions
Drumming is an exercise in creativity and self-expression. Playing music or hitting a drum, like a Djembe or Cajon, has the ability to bring out a natural zest for life through personal expression – you can literally drum out your feelings! Opportunities for building self-esteem can be found in the mastery of the drum, the creativity allowed by drumming, and the experience of drumming with others.
Making social interactions, sense of community and connectedness
It is a long-known fact that music creates bonds and community drumming has proven to be an exceptional activity to empower children and adults and family and friends alike. Drum Circles provide an opportunity for participants to feel connected with others and gain a sense of interpersonal support.
Improving Language and Communication
Drumming is an ancient nonverbal method of communication. When drumming in groups, you learn the art of listening and become keenly aware of your fellow drummers. The subtle awareness can become so great that some people report an empathic response.
Tourism Organizations Budva (TO Budva) is in charge of promoting tourism of their local municipality, as well as performing other duties relevant for the development of communication and advertising activities in Montenegro tourism.
TO Budva was running Zero Waste Project and was searching for solution that can promote sustainability initiatives but also to serve as central information point to tourists in the city.
TO Budva recognized Smart Bench as innovative tool that can increase the tourism potential and provide advance tourism experience. The bench serves as:
• Central tourist info point
• Digital content platform that is constantly enriched with new useful information
• Tool that can have new functionalities added (e.g. wayfinding, ticket purchase…)
• Physical representation of municipality’s green initiatives
Personal quote from client
“The aim of this project was to raise the quality of the tourist offer we have in the city of Budva. Small, modern projects, like Smart Bench, in the best interest of our tourists, but also fellow citizens, will become a priority in the development of our touristic destination,” said the representative of Tourist Organization of the Municipality of Budva, Montenegro.
We’re here to answer any questions! Contact us at email@example.com .
Written by Berliner Seilfabrik Team
Be’er-Sheva in southern Israel is one of the country’s largest cities. It is considered by many to be the “Capital of the Negev,” which it borders on. As a so-called “developing city,” Be’er-Sheva has been turning into a religious center and has also become an important Israeli metropolis over recent decades.
In order to maintain the city’s attractiveness for its 200,000 inhabitants, it is crucial to create attractive facilities for young families. In addition to emerging residential neighborhoods, the growing industrial sector and increasing tourism, new local parks have been established in the last few years. One of these is Be’er-Sheva River Park. Covering an expanse of several square miles, the large River Park follows the course of Nahal Be’er-Sheva, a large riverbed that does not carry any water during the dry season.
As of June 2017, the park boasts a new centerpiece: a massive playground consisting of a vast climbing landscape made up of equipment provided by Berliner Seilfabrik.
Seven differently equipped climbing towers are evenly distributed over an area of approx. 10,765-ft.² They serve as the foundation pillars of this climbing paradise. The towers are connected with net bridges that are up to 20 feet in length. Some of the bamboo-clad towers are more than 26 feet high, giving them the appearance of a tree house village thanks to their natural design.
Besides its remarkable size and complexity, another special feature of the playground is its density of climbing structures and the way these are connected. Any “gaps” have been filled using additional exciting equipment. Climbing mats, ladders, nets and climbing ropes add many more options for climbing and playing, making the playground even more versatile. A neighboring lower rope course for children who are not quite ready to make their way up to the “treetops” offers additional variety and an exciting challenge for smaller children.
In addition, six long, slightly twisted or even spiralling slides have been attached to the climbing towers. Whizzing down one of these slides is the perfect reward to every bold climber! The slides for this project were supplied by Israeli partner Games & Sports and could be easily attached to the towers thanks to Berliner Seilfabrik’s modular system.
Around the climbing structures, numerous additional attractions such as seesaws and carousels complete the playground’s range of activities in an impressive fashion.
The new climbing landscape has been designed in cooperation with Games & Sports Head of Design, Galina Man, and the company’s Vice President of Marketing, Meirav Moshka, with the planners at Berlin’s Creative Centers. Roei Shabtay, Executive Assistant to the CEO at Games & Sports, is more than happy with the result. In particular, he loves how “every area offers a different activity”.
Another specialty of the playground is its distinctive canopy. The entire climbing structure is protected by multiple shade sails arranged in a star-shaped pattern. As severe dust storms can be quite a frequent occurrence in the Be’er-Sheva region, these sails give not only shade, but also protect the playground structures and their users from the bothersome fine grains of sand. Several poles were installed to attach the canopy.
Roei Shabtay explains, “We had to pour a joint foundation to be able to anchor this great number of poles in the ground. The poles for the playground equipment and the poles for the shade sails share one foundation.” Despite the large amount of poles in one place, the designers managed to observe the necessary clearance distance, thus ensuring maximum safety for the children.
This is a project reference of Berliner Seilfabrik, in southern Israel. If you would like to create a relevant custom-made solution in Greece or Cyprus, please do not hesitate to contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Harrie Kerkhof, Director of Operations at Yalp Interactive
Earnings over cost
In the year 2000, I started working in the playground industry, and I can honestly say that I have donated my heart to PLAY. What a fantastic industry, I cannot see myself working anywhere else with the same passion.
In the past years, I have fulfilled various roles from sales to marketing to an export manager traveling the globe. I met a great variety of customers, colleagues, marketing, and sales teams abroad, which I was privileged to meet and present. Looking back on those years, I learned that our industry is often budget-oriented. A playground almost always includes a slide. Are we not consistently doing more of the same? Shouldn’t we broaden our offering?
What are the right questions?
Take an average city of 80.000 inhabitants. This city might have approximately 100 play and sports areas to maintain. They can vary from a small stand-alone rocker installed on a sidewalk to a large destination playground in a city center park and everything in between. What is it that sets our playgrounds apart? Because while they may all look different, most offer very similar play values(sliding, climbing, swinging, etc.), while targeting the same group.
I genuinely believe any city today investing in a new playground, will contribute significantly to our society. Being physically active outdoors while developing our motor and social skills is tremendously important. But I also genuinely believe we can get more out of playgrounds.
Having a disability places you in the world’s largest minority group. Over a billion people live with a type of disability. And between 110-190 million adults have significant difficulties in functioning (source World Health Organisation). These numbers should speak for themselves, but there is much more to it. What if we truly ask ourselves, “Who do we like to include?”
We all know there is much more to inclusive play than merely making a playground accessible for those using mobility devices.
But what about including parents and grandparents? Or even more out-of-the-box, including those who do not regularly visit a playground yet?
Getting everyone involved!
Shouldn’t we also focus on getting the less active individuals more engaged?
I often use the example of a new soccer pitch. Success is guaranteed in our soccer continent Europe. But are the earnings inline with the investment? Do we achieve our goals? Will this new activate the group of inactive? Will it activate the more obese boys and girls? Or will we stick to more of the same for the same group of people? The boys and girls who already play outside and now also have another play area to go to.
As a father, my best experiences involve playtime with my son and daughter. And I do not mean the experience when I was sitting at a bench in the playground waiting for them to stop playing, which may be recognizable, because I find myself often in a rush with my busy Saturday schedule. No, I mean the times we played together and created our memorable moments. With their ages now 12 and 15, we do not visit the slides and swings anymore, but often we can be found in our outdoor showroom at the Yalp office. 😊
Good practice from Australia
Recently I watched an interactive play webinar from our distributor Lark Industries. Compliments to Ryan, the presenter on how he reviewed and analyzed a project with an ever-popular Sky Walk tower installation, a destination structure, which offers climbing and sliding, from exciting heights. A concept that is popular, but as we all know, a significant investment. By comparison, for a similar investment for one large play tower structure, one would invest in a full interactive play park, containing five varied play solutions, with play possibilities for sport, learning, music, dancing, agility, and physical exertion. I believe the earnings would be exceedingly higher with a lower investment.
Just take a look at the video below, presenting our take on future playgrounds.
I also fully agree with their statement interactives are not designed to substitute the traditional play all children love. Their proper place is alongside these traditional play experiences, as a new, exciting, and ever-evolving way to play. But even a stand-alone interactive can provide a unique play experience at limited costs.
Good practice from Norway
Another example I’d like to share is the Memo at the Dale Skule. To me, a great example of a school looking more to the earnings by putting the focus on playful learning, 20th-century skills, and interaction. They followed their dream and dared to invest in ‘A new way to play,’ our company’s payoff😉.
The phrase “playing and learning go hand in hand” appealed to us when we had the opportunity to design our new schoolyard. We believe that digital learning, physical activity, and interacting children are key factors to education in the 20th century. Our vision at Dale school is to be a digital school and a school for the future. We were pleased to discover that we could bring this vision to our playground as well, by investing in Yalp Memo. The Memo brings activity to the playground throughout the day, not just during school hours – which is positive for our community.
Malin Sæterdal – Teamleiar, barnetrinnet Dale skule – Norway
Static or dynamic
As the interactives are internet-connected, we can provide dynamic content or game updates, remote access, and analytical data, all significant to the solutions’ long-term value.
In Norway’s good practice, this means we can provide the customer with feedback on how well the product is being used. They can then mirror this to their investment. Last year alone, Yalp provided 290.000 hours of play to the world. This makes me proud and passionate about what we do!
Put it to the test
I want to end this blog with a small exercise. Below I have listed items to score from 0 – 10. Of course, you can expand this list to your wishes. For example, add competition, the possibility to play in the evening, 21st-century skills. You are your own judge, so it can not be done wrong. How cool is that!
For example, I scored a standard playground consisting of a swing, sandbox, play tower with a slide and climbing element. I rated this playground with 52 points (see table). Next, I scored one Yalp Sona Interactive dance and play arch along with the same measurements, scoring 90 points. When dividing the budget by the score, you find the investment rate is lower with the Sona.
Please do not make false conclusions. In my perfect world, I would opt to raise the budget to combine traditional with interactive play.
In conclusion, please consider doing things differently and with a clear vision of what you want to achieve. In the playground business, I preach to look more to the earnings. This might add much more value to your city or business. You might surprise yourself seeing elderly play together with teens and small children and others challenging each other and having even more FUN together.
We’re here to answer any questions! Contact us at email@example.com .
Author: Milos Milisavljevic, CEO of Strawberry energy
If there was an app giving you real time data about the most crowded shops to avoid or the longest check-out lines during the Christmas shopping fever, you’d welcome that, wouldn’t you? It would require a comprehensively vast digital network of IoT devices, people counters, interconnected shopping malls, a massive amount of data processed in real time. Of course, it doesn’t exist. At least not yet. Furnishing cities with smart technology, building IoT infrastructure and sustainable solutions is slowly becoming the big talking point, a task on every local government’s agenda.
When you dedicate yourself to furnishing your home every detail matters. You start from picking out the comfortable, nicely looking pieces that fulfill your standards of functionality and esthetics. And when you’re done, you call it home. In the recent decade our homes have become increasingly smarter with gadgets helping us or entertaining us every step of the way.
It is no surprise that the need for embedding technology in our public spaces has also become a prerequisite for being comfortable and efficient while running errands out and about the town.
Just like our home, we all want our cities to follow the development, to upgrade and start adapting to our life already submerged in technology so deep that it is an integral part of who we are today as civilisation. But what does it take to furnish a city, to equip it with smart solutions that would not only make our life easier, but also reduce costs, be easy on the local budget and not harm the environment? Is it possible?
In order to talk about the smart city furniture, let’s start with the obvious. What is street furniture to begin with? It includes benches, traffic barriers, bollards, post boxes, streetlamps, traffic lights, traffic signs, bus stops, tram stops, taxi stands, public lavatories, fountains, public sculptures, and waste receptacles. When we want to make all that street furniture “smart” we actually want for it to be more functional, to make our life easier without the cost to the environment.
Smart waste management doesn’t waste time
A decade ago, garbage trucks and sanitation workers would go around at precisely scheduled times, every day, to empty the bins around town so they’d be clean and ready for the new busy day. Of course, a bin in a park near a popular picnic spot or at a busy street is much more likely to be full by the afternoon. Sometimes overflowing with trash by the mid-day. Wouldn’t it be nice if somehow sanitation services would be able to know exactly which bin needs attention and when so that they could plan the collecting routes more efficiently?
Today, smart bins are connected to WiFi and equipped with fill-level sensors that track the situation in real time and send data that the bin needs to be taken care of. Majority of smart bins can be found in France, Germany and the UK, but also in various USA cities and Canada. It’s not a surprise that smart waste management ideas that are sustainable, reasonably priced and efficient in the long term are in high demand.
Next stop: Smart city
Waiting for the bus is a dramatically different experience than 15 years ago when there were no smartphones (as we know them today) or mobile Internet to pass the time. In recent years smart city development has offered us another WiFI connected convenience and experience: a smart bus stop. While you wait for the bus you can check the real time traffic data, pay your bills, top up your phone credit, check pollen and noise levels and in case of emergency there are emergency call boxes, defibrillators and fire extinguishers. Singapore’s smart bus stop network offers free WiFi, phone chargers and in some cases even bookshelves where people can read and swap for the books they have already read. Barselona’s smart bus stops offer detailed tourist info and maps and free WiFi so in a way, every smart bus stop is essentially a tourist info desk.
Stuck in traffic? Not if you’re smart!
Copenhagen municipal government claims that 25,000 tons of CO2 will be reduced by 2025 compared to 2011 levels. How do they plan to carry out that task? Through the city’s ITS (Intelligent Transport System) program. Controllers built in existing traffic lights on busy intersections will control the traffic in real time by favouring cyclists and public transportation. According to globalexplorer.com “Overall, the travel time of cyclists will be reduced by 10% and travel time for buses is expected to decrease by up to 20%… ITS will help Copenhagen achieve its vision to have 75% of all trips in the city be by bike, by public transport, or on foot by 2025.” Benefits for the environment that this measure would bring are quite substantial and if successful, will once again put Copenhagen on the list of one of the most successful cities when it comes to implementing smart technologies to elevate the quality of living.
Smart bench — The new benchmark for smart cities
In 2011, a small startup Strawberry Energy wanted to find new ways to reimagine the city furniture by adding solar panels and phone charging ports powered by solar energy to their project — Strawberry tree. It was a success because it recognized the growing need for connectivity and addressing the environmental issues. In 2015 the first smart bench was installed in London followed by the network of smart benches in 2016 and the presence in more than 25 cities in Europe.
Smart bench has reinvented the “bench time” as we know it. We still sit on a bench to relax, meet up, take a break or eat take out lunch. But as we do it, we also browse the internet using the free and fast WiFi, charge the phone or check the environmental data for the area.
Advertisers gained a new territory to expand their influence and reach the audience. Branded smart bench also offers a branded landing page that pops up when people connect to free WiFi on the bench, allowing an advertiser to display a more personal and customized message for the desired audience depending on the time, weather conditions or current events. The smart bench measures engagement, number of chargings and visitor count, representing a valuable insight into consumer behavior, and above all, promotes the advertiser’s CSR efforts and positions the company as an environmentally aware and proactive.
At the end of year 2020 we already have smart waste bins, smart benches, smart bus stops and smart traffic lights. What the future holds for us and our cities? As it is expected that the AI propels into our life more prominently, no one can reliably predict what impact it will have on urban infrastructure, community engagement and digital transformation. What we can say for sure is that street furniture will definitely become smarter, even cooler and more sustainable.
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