The highlights of the play area are the colourful, themed special play equipment implemented by the award-winning Danish Monstrum. Illustrator: Riku Ounaslehto

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Helsinki is setting a new standard for playground innovation with the creation of the world's first computer-themed playground in Ruoholahti. This unique play area, designed in collaboration with children's author Linda Liukas and landscape architects from Näkymä Oy, aims to merge play with learning by introducing children to the basics of computers and programming in an interactive environment.

Scheduled to open in autumn, the Ruoholahti playground will feature vibrant, computer-related play equipment such as a colorful computer tower and keyboard-shaped stairs. These installations, crafted by the award-winning Danish company Monstrum, are designed to encourage children to explore and learn about technology through play. The playground will also include educational elements where children can learn to spell their names using binary numbers, fostering both creativity and analytical thinking.

Linda Liukas, a pivotal figure in the playground's conceptual development, expressed her excitement about the project: "I hope that the computer-themed park will help children see the world of computers as approachable and adaptable. As they crawl in the computer tower, they may imagine themselves as their favorite game character or data moving inside a computer."

The project not only reflects innovative playground design but also a commitment to educational development and community engagement. The city has involved local children and school groups in the design process, incorporating their feedback and drawings into the final designs. One such inclusion is a disc golf basket, specifically requested by students from a nearby primary school.

Hanna Harris, Chief Design Officer for the City of Helsinki, emphasized the playground's role in the community: "It is critically important to foster child-friendly urban design and to create exciting, free spaces for all children to experience and enjoy in the heart of the city."

The Ruoholahti playground is just the beginning of Helsinki's plans to expand its network of themed playgrounds, which aim to be inclusive and accessible while enhancing local community ties. This playground is not only a place for play but also serves as a learning environment that can be utilized by instructors and teachers for educational activities.

The playground's completion this autumn is eagerly anticipated by residents and visitors alike, who are excited to see how this innovative space will inspire and educate the next generation.

HT

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