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Outdoor games to connect the generations

Our response to the AB3 challenge is G4g, Games for generations, a company that promotes sustainable relationships.

At G4g, we design multigenerational outdoor exercise spaces. Our goal is to bring the elderly and younger generations closer by connecting them in the playground and enabling them to play and exercise together. This will strengthen their relationships and improves the quality of life for the elderly, in particular.

We broke down the original challenge, AB3, into two part: We interpreted A, B as the building blocks a child would use; and 3, “la tercera edad” -- as retirees. We wanted to link the two groups.

As the population gets older and in many cases less active, retirees can often feel separated from the rest of society. Around the city of Barcelona there are specific exercise spaces for the elderly, but those spaces are far removed from the play spaces designed for children.

In the Basque country, the government is already addressing this issue by creating intergenerational parks with areas for children and adults side by side.

But we want to take it a step further and integrate the two areas entirely, bringing adults and children in direct contact with each other while they exercise using the same machines. In fact the machines need two people to function. It’s a way to share social and physical activity.

Our key partner in this venture will be the government -- parks departments, urban planning, ministry of health -- but we could also sell the products to commercial centers, senior centers, science museums, hotels, and campsites. We don’t plan to sell online. This is a business to business proposition.

For G4g, safety is of the highest priority. From our on-the-street research and interviews, we found that safety is also a big concern for parents and seniors (children are oblivious). At the same time, we got a hugely positive response from all generations about the intergenerational equipment -- including from the smallest participants -- the three-year-olds.

To build the equipment, we plan to use recycled materials, but not recycled parts. For us, the greater sustainable aspect will be creating and strengthening relationships. That’s our sustainability model.

The idea with this particular equipment is that an adult -- a parent or grandparent -- sits on the bicycle and starts pedaling. The bicycle is connected through a series of gears to a rubber platform supported by springs. As the adult cycles, the platform jiggles and tilts and the child gets to play on a moving platform, working to keep his/her balance. That’s the fun.

The equipment can also work the other way around, where the child cycles and the adult stands on the platform. The seat on the bicycle can slide forward and down to adjust for shorter legs.

The platform can sustain 110 kilograms -- the equivalent of three small kids or one adult.

We are working on developing a full collection of intergenerational playground equipment that can be part of an exercise circuit for adults and children.

What G4g delivers to the end user is fun, social interaction, and a healthier lifestyle, while being safe. And what it delivers to the government is a healthier society -- both physically and mentally.