Thursday, 16 April 2020 16:12

Cool Playground coming to Cumberland

 Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, from Western Sydney University’s School of Social Sciences, left, onsite with Steve Christou, Mayor of Cumberland City Council. Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, from Western Sydney University’s School of Social Sciences, left, onsite with Steve Christou, Mayor of Cumberland City Council. Cumberland City Council

In partnership with Cumberland City Council, Western Sydney University has been conducting research on playgrounds across the suburbs of Cumberland - logging temperatures, identifying hotspots and assessing thermal performance of playground materials.

“As communities face unprecedented heat, drought and bushfire conditions across NSW, it’s important that we have playgrounds that are resilient and comfortable for families to use,” said Steve Christou, Mayor of Cumberland City Council. Merrylands Memorial Park will be retro-fitted with UV smart materials to help build resilience during warmer temperatures.

“Our new UV smart, cool playground cleverly combines new technology and physical play to get kids moving and interacting in a safe and innovative way.

“At the Merrylands Memorial Park, we will be installing a recyclable shade cover and using a heat smart soft fall surface made of polyolefin polymer, which is better as it doesn’t absorb and retain as much heat as rubber surfaces.

“UV Smart, Cool Playground is a prototype project and we will be producing a guideline to share with our supporters - WSROC, KidSafe NSW, Cancer Council, Western Sydney Local Health District and other councils.”

Research lead Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, from Western Sydney University’s School of Social Sciences, said research he conducted found communities in western Sydney experience extreme heat more frequently than previously known and the adaption of existing playgrounds is an important way to reduce urban heat loads.

“The UV Smart, Cool Playground project has brought together government, industry and research partners to develop Australia’s first prototype playground to address increasing temperatures which are leaving our playgrounds unplayable,” said Dr Pfautsch.

“Heat-smart playgrounds can provide a safe and enjoyable place; they can be used longer in summer and act as a cool refuge for the community.”

This project is supported by Local Government NSW and assisted by a $106,000 grant from the NSW Government. Softfall material will be donated by Polysoft and shade cover will be donated by Alfresco Shade and GALE Pacific.

The UV Smart, Cool Playground is expected to be ready for next summer.

 

This article is published with the permission of the authors, Cumberland City Council

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 29 April 2020 13:53