Barcelona's new inclusive spaces

Barcelona has already done a lot of interesting work in creating spaces and places that work better for girls and for women too. In this blog, Laia Corrales gives us a tour of some newer play spaces which have been designed with inclusivity in mind

March 21, 2024
March 21, 2024
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I'm Laia, a recent Geography graduate from Barcelona. As a geographer with knowledge about urban areas, I often notice outdoor spaces and facilities that are not designed with women in mind, as they are typically built from a male perspective. This highlights the need for more consideration of women and girls when developing spaces. I believe it is crucial for our society to create inclusive and safe facilities and spaces for children, girls, teens, and women. It is important to ensure that young women have a voice in the planning process. Fortunately, Barcelona city is enhancing its play areas and outdoor spaces, making them more creative, diverse, inclusive, and accessible for all. However, there is still a lot of progress to be made.

The city of Barcelona is dedicated to developing public spaces, including playgrounds, that prioritize inclusivity and safety for children, teenagers, and the entire community. Barcelona strives to foster a welcoming and play-friendly atmosphere where neighbors can come together to enjoy community amenities. These spaces are thoughtfully designed for universal use and enjoyment, with a focus beyond just football and basketball fields.

All of these examples are located in the city itself.

Plaça de Les Glòries (Les Glòries square)

The Glòries is a big open space which has different spaces and areas designated to different activities and services. For example:

a) Espai ludic (Recreational Space)

Big area intended for leisure. Kinds and teens enjoy this big area covered in rubber that bends and undulates. This space offers an amazing slide for kids to enjoy.

Image from link
b) La gran clariana ( The big / great clearing)

This space consists of a big extension of grass so that neighbours can relax and enjoy a green space in the middle of the city. It’s a multipurpose area where people can lay down and enjoy the sun, read a book or maybe play some games. A chair and sunbed rental services are offered in this space.

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The space also has other facilities:

- ‘’Space of games 0-99’’. This service lends recreational material and board games for all ages. It also offers tables, chairs and umbrellas. All the games are educational and accessible.

- Ping pong tables and basketball court.

Image from link
image from link

Parc Infantil de Can Batlló (Can Batlló Playground)

This play area consists of a big open space. The floor is made out of rubber so it’s safe and accessible. The main attraction of the area is a 9 meter slide. There are also three smaller slides to make the game progressive and inclusive for all ages and for people with reduced mobility. Also, there are hammocks, rocking chairs for wheelchair users and other inclusive elements designed for kids, teens and people of all ages.

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Jardins de Màlaga (expected 2024)

This public space is expected to be the largest play area in the whole city of Barcelona (link in English). This area will feature a play space designed for children and teenagers to enjoy equally. The play area will resemble a forest, with three large mushroom structures designed by the Rosselló-Sangenís architecture firm. Each mushroom is designated for a specific age group. Additionally, there will be various games centered around sand and other natural elements for experimentation. Visitors can also find seating areas for relaxation and conversation, a kiosk for refreshments, and inclusive restroom facilities.

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There is much more information available on the official weblink here.

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