Kids Together Playground

Kids Together Playground (KTP), designed by Robin Moore with Little and Little Landscape Architects, opened coincident with NLI in 2000. The Town of Cary Parks Commission envisioned a family playscape based on universal and sustainable design principles. KTP demonstrates how success can emerge when values of stakeholders and designers coincide and include the participation of children. Collaborative governance by the Town and a nonprofit, Kids Together, resulted in longterm sustainability and growth of social capital through family-friendly programming. KATAL’s annual ice cream birthday party reinforces an intergenerational sense of belonging. KATAL (Kids Are Together At Last), is the dragon play sculpture name –invented by kids!

The universal design, inclusion, and equity principles embedded in KTP grew out of the 1980’s accessibility rights movement, partly inspired by NC State graduate, architect Ron Mace (himself a wheelchair user). Mace proposed the term “universal design” for environments that serve the needs of all people, regardless of ability, race, culture, and social-economic background. 

A post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of KTP conducted by NLI using behavior mapping and on-site observations of individuals with disabilities, was published as “What makes a park inclusive and universally designed?” (Moore & Cosco, 2007). 

The publication followed the release of the report of a two-day meeting of universal design experts that emphasized the need for research covering diverse populations and environments, including urban parks.


Kids Together Playground:

Navigating the Playground with an Accompanying Wheelchair:

Talking Bench

Catch the Chair

Pushing the Chair

Up the Stairs

Up Into the Structure

Through the Tunnel

Across the Bridge

Down the Slide

Kids Are Together at Last
(KATAL the Dragon)