INTAMT Academy has successfully completed a study tour for department heads of the State administrative and technical Supervisory Authority of the Moscow Region (Russian Federation) on the topic “Planning, construction and operation of public playgrounds for children”. As part of the intensive training programme, the participants of the study tour visited a number of municipal and school playgrounds, met with heads of architectural and planning offices and manufacturers of playground equipment, exchanged experiences with TÜV experts and municipal officials responsible for safety in the operation of children’s playgrounds.
Reliability, practicality and moderation are the three main distinguishing features of German playgrounds. Reliability is guaranteed by compliance with the general European standards for checking the equipment of children’s playgrounds. In Düsseldorf, 25 members of the DIN standards committee are responsible for this, consisting of representatives of the technical experts, manufacturers and insurance companies. The main task of the committee is to avoid accidents with serious physical consequences. Bruises and abrasions that the children can get during their stay on the playground are not included, as these are, in the opinion of the experts, a necessary life experience. In general, it can be argued that the reliability of playgrounds is very high. On average, there are 1-2 fatal accidents per year in Germany.
The functionality is achieved by using robust and durable materials (such as steel and wood) in production and construction. The equipment of the playgrounds is also designed for a high level of physical activity of the children. Special attention is paid to the coating – it has good damping and protects against injuries in case of a fall. Sand is most commonly used for this purpose because it is easily accessible, inexpensive and easy to handle.
Moderation refers to the visual aesthetics of playgrounds and manifests itself in the absence of too bright, colourful equipment. It is argued that the absence of shrill colours contributes to the development of good taste in children. Therefore, quiet light tones are preferred.
The participants appreciated the quality and practical orientation of the study trip programme. Head of delegation Sergei Girko, deputy head of the State Supervisory Authority of the Moscow Region noted that “the study trip was definitely useful” and that some of the gained knowledge could be used in the preparation of changes to the Moscow Region legislation.