Designing an outdoor area for a housing association
Designing an outdoor area for a housing association can be challenging, as you need to consider the needs and interests of people of different ages and abilities. Creating an inviting and recreational outdoor space is not only important for the enjoyment of residents but also for their guests and members of the surrounding community. A sense of community is often an essential factor in the living quality of neighbourhoods.
Safe and accessible outdoor environment
Ensure the outdoor space is easy to navigate and free of hazards. Consider installing ramps or other accessibility features, if necessary. Make sure the surface is usable and according to requirements and standards. Incorporate plants and landscaping elements to enhance the beauty and appeal of the space. Diverse vegetation offers habitat for many species and prevents biodiversity loss.
Create a communal experience for all residents
Design the outdoor space with socialising in mind, with plenty of seating and tables where people can gather and interact. Include a variety of seating options: Offer a blend of seating types, such as benches, chairs, and picnic tables, to accommodate people with different needs and preferences. An outdoor barbecue spot could increase the attractiveness of the area. Don’t forget to ensure all seating areas are accessible.
Incorporate playground equipment for children
Children need space to run, climb, jump, and hide. Add playground equipment that supports different play values for children of all ages: install swings, sandboxes, play towers, slides, and hangouts for chilling out.
Add interactive playground equipment to keep children active with new challenges online!
Offer a range of recreational activities for young people and adults
Provide a variety of activities to keep people entertained, such as areas for ball games, an outdoor gym, and a calm place to practice yoga or stretching. Remember to add enough benches and tables for phones or water bottles while working out. Litter bins are also a great way to discourage littering and should be included in suitable spots.
Provide shade and other practical outdoor elements
Make sure there are plenty of spots in the shade for people to rest and escape the sunshine. These can be natural elements, such as trees and buildings. Nevertheless, additional pavilions and pergolas are cosy and pleasant amenities to enhance the area’s usability on rainy days.
When adding functional equipment to the outdoor area, it is essential to consider the layout of the space and how best to divide it into usable sections. Bicycle stands, for example, are an effective way to clearly define each section and provide guidance on where cyclists should ride. Additionally, fences, railings, and bollards can offer additional boundaries for the safe and separate use of each section for various activities. Not only do these tools provide division within the functional outdoor area, but they also add a pleasing aesthetic element.
What if there were no boundaries between housing association gardens?
Quite often, in the housing association culture, we are used to having neighbourhood gardens exclusively restricted for use by a certain residence. These gardens have even built fences between them to prevent movement from one garden to another, while also acting as fire-spreading prevention.
What if there were no boundaries and all gardens were in shared use? Seppo Närhi, Garden Consultant and former General Secretary of the Finnish Association of Landscape Industries and Editor-in-chief of the Association’s magazine wrote an article on shared community gardens.
Products on this page suitable for housing associations` gardens
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Residents of Lumo rental homes in Leinelänkaari, Finland, now have versatile outdoor sporting opportunities on their doorstep.