Supportive structures for play and social inclusion within an urban park: a qualitative descriptive study
This study aimed to determine the extent and the ways in which Amber Park is perceived by its users to either facilitate or hinder play and social inclusion. The study is qualitative descriptive in nature. Purposive sampling for maximum variation was used to select the 16 participants who were interviewed. Inductive reasoning was followed through open coding, allowing for the conceptualisation of raw data. This generated 15 categories, which were further collapsed into 3 themes; (a) A space for valued play (which incorporates how the park meets park users’ occupational needs in a way that provides meaning and value for the users), (b) Play: disrupting class and race (which shows how play equalises power relationships in a unique way), and (c) All welcome, but… (which speaks to latent hegemonic practices and how these dictate behaviour and inclusion). These findings provide new understandings about the way in which an urban park can support valued play by meeting occupational needs, as well as mitigate racial, class and generational divides within a diverse society, and may inform inclusive policies for public spaces.
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