Driven by a desire of the local community to claim back the streets and revive the long-lost art of healthy social interaction, a pop-up playground was set up in the quaint village of Gharb in Gozo as a PARK pilot intervention to support and inspire long-term change. Street play and habitual physical activity are something of counter-intuitive in Malta, where despite the small size of the island the car seems to have taken precedence, creating a hostile environment for daily exercise such as walking and social interaction. The pilot intervention, therefore, challenged the way citizens look at spaces and find ways on how to address this contemporary issue in a meaningful way. As a result, the intervention helped the local community to understand better the dynamics of the space around them, think of alternative options on how the space can be shared by different users and create a vibrant space that promotes physical activity and healthy social dialogue.
The intervention consisted of four stages.
The intervention was certainly appreciated by all the community, stakeholders, young children and adults alike. Mainly because the intervention did not simply focus on physical activity, which might be off-putting for some, instead through basic street games, participants were able to foster a sense of community and a deeper understanding of how community spaces can be easily transformed and shared by different users.
This project, led by BG Be Active, is funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.