Copenhagen’s traffic playground for kids →

January 05, 2015 |

Mikael Colville-Andersen:

The traffic playground is a public playground with a “kid-sized” traffic town where children learn to move in a safe environment. The playground is staffed during business hours and children can borrow go-carts, pedal vehicles with trailers and small bikes. The children are also welcome to bring their own bikes, roller skates and scooters.

For younger children (2-5 years), there is a small, fenced traffic lane where the little ones can borrow carts, tricycles and bicycles with trailers. Furthermore, the playground has a garage with go-carts, which are intended for children between 5 and 14 years. In the classroom, children can receive classroom teaching.

The traffic playground consists of small roads that wind in and out between lawns, shrubs and trees. Everything on the small rehearsal roads is reduced in size to match the children’s perspective. There are mini signals, driveways, road markings, sidewalks, crosswalks, bike paths, a gas station, a roundabout, bus stops, traffic lights and even trash cans tilted towards the cyclists - just like in real life (you can see one here in this earlier article).

This is so great. Coincidentally, there’s a remarkably similar traffic playground in my hometown (Spanish page, scroll down for the pictures). I have very fond memories of the many afternoons I spent riding my bike there as a child — with training wheels at first, then proudly on my own. It was a really fun — and useful — way to learn, and become accustomed to the rules of the road. Every child should experience it.

Sadly, the one in my hometown is now closed due to a lack of municipal funds for its proper maintenance and operation. I really hope it comes back to life at some point in the future, when the economy of the city allows for it.