About the Campaign “100 Creative Playgrounds for the Children of Serbia”
Belgrade Design Week is arguably the most important creative festival in South East Europe, covering an area of almost 100 million people between Vienna and Istanbul, and in past few years developing a year-round program for Belgrade, Serbia. Since its foundation in 2006, BDW pays special attention to the education of creative professionals, as well as the creative development of children, which has been confirmed with a series of workshops, exhibitions and lectures of leading international and domestic creative minds.
In 2013 we started a completely new, non-profit project, of the largest scale so far, which aims to gather the most responsible and socially aware municipalities, local and global corporations, institutions, diplomatic and trade representations, which would team together as partners in the production of 100 CREATIVE PLAYGROUNDS FOR CHILDREN throughout Serbia.
Our wish is that within two years we jointly donate to Serbia 100, not only new, but more importantly, innovative designed playgrounds, which can nowadays be seen everywhere throughout developed societies.
The difference that BDW’s reputation represents compared to similar projects, or even humanitarian actions in general, is precisely the difference which marks BDW’s USP: a unique methodology that guarantees a carefully curated and managed inclusion of outstanding members of the creative community and their outputs, as well as some of the greatest achievements in global creative industries, into the project, that has by now become BDW’s trademark.
With this entirely new approach to the realization of children’s playgrounds in Serbia, we want to bring
life to a concept that will last, be in accordance with the highest global environmental and sustainability standards, that will keep up with the times in which we live, and provide safe, comfortable and even a somewhat creative, active and versatile space for play.
In the same time, through collaboration with the some of the best creatives in the field of innovation and design, the playgrounds are meant to communicate a certain “worldly” feeling of design to the most vulnerable and the least protected Serbian population today – our children – as an important inspiration for their development through playing.
All playgrounds will be built exclusively in public areas selected in collaboration with local administrations, to provide a democratic and open access to all children of Serbia.
All participants in the project can contribute solely on a strict non-profit basis, communicating a strong message about the importance of advanced creative development of children in our society.
As esteemed partners, we invite all interested local administrations to offer locations and provide works and permits; designers, architects and equipment manufacturers to offer their valued services; commercial businesses and institutions to donate funding for the final implementation of the project and, finally, the media to provide the widest possible support through a generous dissemination of the project’s idea.
BDW performs the management and communication of the whole project under equally non-profit conditions, in particular the fund raising part, in terms of animating and inspiring potential partners to participate in the project, while controlling the realization until the turnkey solution at the very end, as creative curators with strict design and quality control of all playgrounds.
The project “100 Creative Playgrounds for the Children of Serbia” is a unique initiative, which aims to set up a broad platform for solving this important issue. In Serbia, there are other individual initiatives that deal with this problem, but it is necessary to increase the synergy between the public, private and NGO sectors, in order to fundamentally solve this problem. By linking these three sectors through the implementation of the project, we would create a better environment for growth and development of children aged one to twelve years. Municipalities would receive a donation in the form of playground design and project, as well as the purchase of required equipment. The municipalities would be required provide and prepare the location by applying Good governance principles and to commit to schedule funds in the budget for maintenance of playgrounds, and the donor would demonstrate its social responsibility by giving the donation and purchasing the required equipment for playgrounds.
In all municipalities in Serbia, most playgrounds are deserted and devastated, which is a bad environment for proper growth and development of children. The lack of playgrounds narrows the space for play and children’s physical activity, which has an adverse effect on their development, and thus on the development of the community. There is also the issue of existing functional playgrounds, which are one-dimensional and uniform. All the playgrounds are being built on the same principle, toys being installed on a flat surface, without a clear analysis that would show the extent of risk during playtime. Also, existing toys are not labeled according to age they are provided for, which is contrary to EU standards, and often the toys that are used do not have required quality and safety certificates.
Creative playgrounds are built on different principles, each playground is designed and adapted to the site on which it is located, so that the surface is often not flat, but instead adapted to the installation of each toy, in order to maximize children’s safety. Also, all the toys that are installed have the required certificates and clearly indicate the age of children they are suitable for. Creative playgrounds are designed and built to fulfill their educational role, so that the game playing can stimulate children’s development. Local governments are responsible for the construction and maintenance of these playgrounds, namely, the public utilities and housing companies founded by local governments. The local governments cite lack of funding in the budget as the main reason for the lack of involvement in solving this problem. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the efficiency of the relevant companies and local governments through the use of principles of good governance and intensify cooperation between the public, private and NGO sectors.
The experience our association has had in building the first creative playground for children, located in Mali Kalemegdan in Belgrade, showed that only the synergy of all three sectors and the broad coalition can solve this problem in a systematic way. Along with our organization, the City of Belgrade, the relevant utility companies, private company Lamda Development (donor), the Embassy of Finland and the media also participated in the construction of the first playground.
THE GENERAL PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT IS TO CREATE A BETTER ENVIRONMENT FOR THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN AGED ONE TO TWELVE.
Through implementation of the project “100 Creative Playgrounds for the Children of Serbia” we will enable the promotion of functional application of design. Through the implementation of the competition and selection of the best concept designs for each of the 100 playgrounds, we will enable greater visibility of Serbian design and architecture, and especially the practical application of design in everyday life. Each of the 100 playgrounds that we build will have unique design, in order to fit the designated location.
The entire process of creating each of the 100 playgrounds will be presented via online presentations, social networks and media. This way we will also enable interaction between designers, architects and the general public in the process of design concept creation.
Furthermore, with a media campaign we will demonstrate the importance of creative thinking and how design can have its functional use in all areas of life, especially when it comes to creating a better environment for children’s development. In addition, while implementing this project we will improve another strategic objective of our organization: Stimulating and promoting corporate social responsibility.
The companies that will donate funds for the construction of playgrounds will be an important partner in the project, and through the project we will emphasize the example they set and the importance of companies demonstrating responsibility towards the community in which they operate and generate profit.
Specific aims of the project are:
- Promoting importance of design in everyday life.
- Promoting creative industries and creative thinking.
- Developing local creative industries skillsets.
- Stimulating creative development of children.
- Raising awareness of corporate social responsibility of the companies in Serbia.
Our goal is to bring life into a concept that will last, be in accordance with the highest EU environmental, safety and sustainability standards, a concept that will keep pace with the times we live in, and provide a safe, comfortable, creative, active and versatile space for children to play. We want to promote and create playgrounds that are tailored to the imagination and motor skills of children and therefore more interesting to play in, that enable children to learn about design while developing creative thinking skills.
We believe that by designing and building BDW playgrounds, we are creating a world in which children have equal opportunities to be creative and grow up to be productive individuals who will be caring for others and for their environment.
The project is being implemented throughout the territory of the Republic of Serbia. In collaboration with the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) 100 locations in the local government units in which to build creative playgrounds for children will be selected. When selecting the municipalities, we will take into account the even geographic distribution, level of development and good governance principles applied by local governments.
When choosing a location priority will given to the least developed municipalities classified based on the level of development in accordance with the Law on Regional Development.
Primary target group are the children aged one to twelve
Secondary target groups are: parents, local governments, businesses and the general public
Tertiary target audience: are the professionals from creative industries – architects, designers, urban planners and advertising experts
We expect the implementation of the project to directly affect more than 50,000 children aged one to twelve, as users of 100 creative playgrounds.
Also, the local community, people living in the area where the playgrounds will be built, will benefit directly from the project implementation.
Finally we expect to change the mindsets and education of the creative industry professionals about creative playground design in Serbia completely, whom we wish to include in the creation and development of concepts for the rest 99 playgrounds throughout Serbia.
In 2013 BDW created a strictly non-profit, nation-wide campaign aiming to involve citizens, responsible and active municipalities, as well as leading foreign and domestic companies and institutions, which would, in capacity of initiators and partners, join their goodwill, energy and donations for the implementation of the programme
The companies which donates funds for the construction of playgrounds are the important partners in the project and we are always emphasizing the example they set towards the community in which they operate and generate profit. So far we’ve gained the trust and support many of them!
Take a look at our Photo Gallery
Citizens’ Association “Design Week”,
Rige od Fere 22, Belgrade, Serbia
VESNA JELOVAC, legal representative
The first creative playground built according to EU standards thanks to Lamda Development and the City of Belgrade as main donors, the Embassy of Finland in Serbia and the Finnish company “Lappset” as partners
BDW in collaboration with the City of Belgrade and the NIS corporation as main donors, the Embassy of Finland in Serbia and the Finnish company “Lappset” as partners, has provided a new, inspiring and safe place for children to play
The Grand Creative Park of the City of Kragujevac, is BDW’s contribution to HUMAN CITIES/ project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the EU, with the support of the City of Kragujevac and Foundation “Dragica Nikolic”
Forth creative playground is planned to be built at the Ušće plateau in front of the UŠĆE Shopping Center, who recognized the importance of improving childen’s play and became our partner