Event 3

Urban and green challenging playgrounds for children
2018, April 23 – 27 | Brussels, Belgium

This third event of the Progress Project is organized by GoodPlanet, from the 23rd to the 27th of April 2018, in Belgium (Brussels, Gent, Antwerp).

The course presents experiences, practices and design approaches based on children users for primary / secondary schools. A blended methodology, combining master class, technical visits and group working.

The aim of the conference is to submerge participants into different aspects of challenging outdoor spaces for children in the city. GoodPlanets wants to offer a theoretical frame, but also show specific ideas and inspiring examples. In addition, they want to give to the participants the opportunity to enter into dialogue about certain issues, exchange and reflect.

Target audience: Landscape architects, administrators and managers of green spaces, youth and educational workers, teachers and school boards, managers in green maintenance, environmental and educational associations.

Organizer: GoodPlanet Belgium

Number of participants: 25

Partners: Environmental Department of Brussels, City of Antwerp, City of Ghent, maison de repos Anne-Sylvie Mouzon, local schools…

Training criterias

  • Theoretic frame by experts.
  • Exchange.
  • Debate on space for children and nature in the city
  • Visit inspiring examples of green schoolgrounds and public spaces for children and youngsters.
  • Workshops on case studies: analysis and designing solutions on specific cases (accompanied by trainers).



Day 1 | Park Thurn & Taxis, Parckfarm

Thurn & Taxis/ Tour & Taxis

The first field visit takes the participants to the site Thurn & Taxis, a site next to the canal in Brussels that is being redeveloped. The meeting point is “Allee du Kaai“, which was inaugurated by Brussels Environment. It is a civil project for the temporary use of the “Materials quay”, at the canal in Brussels, opposite Thurn & Taxis. In anticipation of the final redevelopment of this zone, Brussels Environment will temporarily use the site, to develop a social dynamic that will provide an idea of the functions that will be visioned in the future design.

Cécile Duvivier

Yet 10 years Cécile is coordinator of the connected play areas in Brussels  Environnement

Andrea Urbina Padin

Attached for more than 10 years to the Brussels Environment Development and Participation Department. She coordinated different projects and is now responsible for Allée du Kaai. Besides this project, she presents also the future plans for the site Thurn & Taxis.


Parckfarm is a “social farm” whose goal is to promote ecological practices in an urban area and to strengthen the social relations of the different communities around the Thurn and Taxis site. The association originated from the experiment of ParckDesign 2014. It is supported by and for the local residents, with the aim to animate the public space and to support the citizens in setting up projects, workshops, neighborhood parties and other citizens’ initiatives. In terms of the environment, the goal is to promote sustainable food, urban agriculture and sustainable economic models. Various activities (animations, workshops, guided tours, etc.) are organized to reach a wide audience with “green” initiatives. The group has been guided by Tessa Poldervaert, who is volunteer in the project.

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Day 2 | Green Adventurous School Playgrounds – Ghent

The second day focus on the place where children spend a large part of their time: the school playgrounds. In both rural and urban areas school playgrounds often still consist of a concrete surface with a metal play device and a football or basketball court. This day has gone deep into the greening process of a school playground.


Introduction to school playgrounds in Ghent and province

Gorré, T., Education in Nature and Environment – Province East-Flanders

Many schools want more green in their playground, but collide with obstacles such as lack of time, money or expertise. The Province of East Flanders helps schools to tackle these obstacles step by step in the Climate Healthy Playgrounds Project. The process runs for about 2 years.

> View Presentation (PDF)

A vision on green school playgrounds

Joke Cant, project coordinator on green school playgrounds – GoodPlanet Belgium

Landscape architect and coordinator of various GoodPlanet projects about the design of school playgrounds and public spaces. Aiming to inspire teacher teams, educators and municipalities to make their outdoor spaces greener and more adventurous. She gives a presentation on vision development for green adventurous playgrounds.

> View Presentation (PDF)

Child participation and schoolgrounds

Sabine Miedema, expert child participation and space – Kind en Samenleving

S. Miedema introduces how kids can participate in policy or in the design of a plan. She presents the participation tool pic2school, whose participants will be able to try out.

> View Presentation (PDF)

Living schoolscapes. The making of

Sigrun Lobst, landcape architect – Aardrijk

Landscape architect, who believes strongly in the inexhaustible play and development value of natural elements and natural gardens and landscapes. With her designs she looks for varied natural play, the play value comes mostly from natural and landscape elements. She shows some of her projects and methodologies.

> View Presentation (PDF)

Visits by bike

School De Regenboog in Wondelgem

Their outdoor space was designed according to the ideas of students, parents and teachers. The metamorphosis from a stone playground to the challenging playground it now became, happened in 9 days with more than 50 volunteers: parents, pupils, teachers, local residents, … Also the maintenance and further expansions take place in collaboration with all sections of the school. The school playground is big and got a full make-over.

School De Wonderfluit in Sint-Amandsberg

De Wonderfluit is a primary school with two locations and where music from kindergarten is central to the learning process. The traditional courses and activities are peppered and supplemented with a broad cultural and musical education. Their little school playground is now their ‘garden of wonders’.

School De Toverberg in Sint-Amandsberg

At De Toverberg there was a parking space now redesigned as a play area. The “school park” is a shared public space, open to the public outside school hours.

Park Sint-Baafskouter in Sint-Amandsberg

AtWe have a quick stop to drink something at the park Sint-Baafskouter. When designing the park, the ideas of local residents and associations were strongly taken into account. They chose for the concept of a wild park where discovery and adventure are key.

School De Oogappel in Ghent

De Oogappel is an experiential school. The learning and working processes start from the ideas and experiences of the children. They take their own responsibilities and initiatives to achieve their goals. This school participated in the GoodPlanet project Pimp Je Speelplaats. Here we will end with an outdoor education exercise for the group..

Day 3 | Green Adventurous Public Areas – Antwerp

Connected play areas in Antwerp and policy

Wim Seghers, expert playspace policy – City of Antwerp

Risks and safety in adventurous playgrounds

Kris Van Ingelghem, GoodPlanet, expert nature and educative methodology and safety


Day 4 | Case studies Green play areas – Brussels

09:00 – 13:00 – Visit Case Studies

  • Schoolyard in Brussels, participant in project “Ose Le Vert”
    Vanfraechem, T., school coach for the project
  • Two neighbourhood public play areas in Brussels: “Jardin des 5 Sens” and “Korte Malibransstraat”
    Hervé, S., coördinator ‘Jardin des 5 sens’ – GoodPlanet Belgium
    Vosters, J., staff member youth participation – Jes vzw
  • Shared public space “Saint-Moulin”
    Struys, J., Brede School Flamingo – Edu/cation and Leisure Department

13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch
14:00 – 16:00 – Workshops on case studies: design solutions and ideas
16:00 – 17:00 – Presentation of group processes

Day 5 | Case studies Green play areas – Conclusion

10:00 – 11:00 – Presentations
Extra time for presentation group process / Presentation of partner’s project
11:00 – 13:00 – Sharing experiences, expectations and learnings
13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch
14:00 – 17:00 – Field Visit : Optional field visit of project “Jardin Des Délices” (“Paradise Garden”), A Shared garden of a home for elderly
Vanfraechem, T., coördinator project – GoodPlanet

Local partners and supports

Conference Partners

Environmental Department of Brussels, City of Ghent, Province of East-Flanders, City of Antwerp

Local Partners

Permeke library, Fris in het Landschap, Kind en Samenleving, Aardrijk, Parckfarm, Recetas Urbanas,
maison de repos Anne-Sylvie Mouzon,

Local schools

Ecole Clarté Jette, Municipal School Sint-Agatha-Berchem, De Regenboog Wondelgem, De
Wonderfluit Sint-Amandsbert, De Toverberg Sint-Amandsberg, De Oogappel Ghent

This event and this program are the sole responsibility of its authors and the Commission is not responsible for the use that may be made of the information contained therein.


This project has been founded by the EU Commission under the Erasmus+ program

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