Parks, Open Space + Recreation
SMM looks to well-established parks and popular open spaces to create places that contribute to public enjoyment and have long lasting appeal. Our approach to parks and open space is to build on qualities that make a place special, to improve neighbourhoods, and contribute to the social and recreational life of communities. Our park projects range from local neighbourhood green spaces to regional destinations. Regardless of scale, these parks become important social gathering places, designed with input from the communities, resident groups and local stakeholders. Sustainable design is integrated into every aspect of open space design, from the provision for a wide range of recreation for healthy living, to stormwater management systems, to the operations and maintenance considerations for turf mixes including, where appropriate, incorporating native grasses.
SMM has been chosen to design some of Winnipeg’s most memorable park spaces including the Waterfront, Central Park, and everybody’s favorite; the Assiniboine Park Nature Playground and duck pond expansion. Over the past two decades, SMM has assembled an imaginative, yet practical team of professionals that understand the core concepts of how to create meaningful places for play. We have worked with child psychologists and early childhood development experts to underpin our design approach. Great outdoor play spaces need to incorporate values and ideas important to caregivers, parents and the community; we believe that outdoor play spaces can be incredible learning environments and community meeting places. SMM understands that successful outdoor play spaces provide diversity and flexibility, promoting the four major types of play: physical, intellectual, imaginative and social play for all age groups. Great design for open spaces creates unique experiences. These spaces are adaptable throughout the day and in different seasons; they are accessible and inclusive as they support all types of play for different ages and abilities.