Future Playground – Why and How?

Katarzyna Czop News

Webinar – Meet the Buyers

Being part in an international project regarding Circular Public Procurement co-financed by BSR Interreg program, Enterprise Europe Network Denmark coordinator organization, North Denmark EU Office in cooperation with Aalborg Municipality, Aalborg University and (NBE) Network for Sustainable Business Development in Northern Denmark hosted a dedicated webinar with the focus topic Future Playground – Why and How on 16th April 2020. Due to CORONA pandemic conditions the municipality was not able to conduct the scheduled event. Yet, in order neither to postpone nor cancel this very important cornerstone of the project new ways were examined to stick to the project plan and ended up with a webinar solution facilitated by the project partner EEN (Enterprise Europe Network).

The event gathered nearly 100 participants, hereby private companies offering playground equipment, architects, municipalities from other regions looking for inspiration and experience sharing, University employees and students having focus on future sustainable playgrounds as their thesis topic.

In this first of a kind “meet the buyers” webinar from various places that focused on the vision of the project and stakeholders to prepare potential project partners for the bidding process. The background for the project, important considerations on historical and architectural anchor point were thoroughly laid out and later spiced up by a presentation on “outdoor playing and learning environment from a pedagogical perspective.

Stigsborg is the fourth and final quarter of the portside of Aalborg City to be developed planned to host housing, schools, kinder garden, nurseries, and leisure facilities for more than 8,000 people. The municipality aims at establishing a universe for kids and youngsters in the age span 0 – 15 including school facility for 1,000 pupils as well as an integrated daycare institution hosting 160 kids in nurseries and kinder garden. In this project the focus will be to change the traditional “cost of establishment” view to a more holistic view focusing on planting, underlay and terrain, playground equipment and learning through playing and movements. Through this area it is desired to evaluate on product lifetime, environmental impact, lifetime costs as well as possibilities of recycling.

To set the agenda for the planned project “circular kinder garden” very expiring presentations were made on the following topics:

· Vision for the new neighborhood and sustainability considerations by Rasmus Weitze Pedersen and Karen Nygaard Kristensen

· Experience with circular public procurement by Julie Bastholm

· Outdoor plying and learning environment by Benny Schytte and Helle Nebelon

Even in the planning stage of this event the project experienced severe interest from numerous companies and individuals aiming to become part of this unique project that will set new standards for public procurement in the Municipality of Aalborg. Seven potential bidders to the project (6 from Denmark and 1 from The Netherlands) were invited to pitch their ideas in order to obtain dialogue, discussion, and feedback with the purpose of targeting their suggestions eventually to match the ideas of the project in the best way. Valuable for the project, new ideas were presented, questions were asked, and a broader perspective brought to their mind. Conclusively, a truly beneficial session to all, showing great satisfaction with the process and outcome where the findings from this pilot project will form a precedent to future playground development and establishment in the municipality of Aalborg.