A local community in Perth has decided to create their own nature playground in the grounds of Booragoon Primary School. They delivered:
- What they wanted (idea came from the community, not the local government or school)
- How they wanted it (the students helped design the nature play area and parents built it)
- For almost free! The project budget was $60,000 and they completed it for $1,000! That means they can either save 98.3% of their budget or do 60 nature play areas instead of just one.
Read more and watch a timelapse of what they did by clicking <here>
The best line in the article is:
“We realised if we all got off our tails and picked up the phone, we could source most of it for free” rather than paying other people to build them something.
Whilst it will not work in every situation, it shows that amateurs can sometimes deliver much better results than professionals can.
This shows the power of the community getting involved in creating better places. Community placemaking deliver significant economic (saves $) and social (community working together) benefits.
The real benefit is not the actual nature playground, it is people working together. And then realising that they can make positive changes in their spaces and in their lives. But they need to work hard and work together.
This approach is not new, in fact we have been doing it for thousands of years. But the community has forgotten how to work together. Lots of places around the world now encourage community placemaking.
Encouraging this kind of approach in appropriate situations could:
- Save local governments lots of money (it’s your rates!) and/or mean we can do more in the community
- Build stronger and more connected communities
- Achieve better outcomes by delivering what people actually want
Well done to the Booragoon community!