The Funbobulator: Online tool boosts community engagement

Article image - The Funbobulator: Online tool boosts community engagement Glenbrook Park Inclusive Playground Stage 2 will give much of what the community asked for.

Blue Mountains City Council, New South Wales, used an innovative interactive tool, the Funbobulator, to engage the local community in its decision-making process for new playgrounds at two locations.

The online tool, more formally titled ‘Budget Allocator’, has been successfully used to inform major upgrades at two district parks and to raise awareness of the cost of playground equipment.

Blue Mountains Chief Executive Officer, Dr Rosemary Dillon, said, “We used the Funbobulator to garner community feedback when designing playground elements in the upgrade of Glenbrook Park and Springwood’s Buttenshaw Park.

“Over 600 people delivered feedback via the interactive tool to rate their preferred design elements, based on the available budget, for the park upgrade at Glenbrook.

“The process was invaluable in helping us decide what the community wanted and needed, while it empowered community members to play a key part in the decision-making process.”

As a result of the interaction, Council will later this year install exciting new elements at Glenbrook District Park including a flying fox, built-in trampolines, a climbing tower with slide and monkey bars. 

Many of the elements feature inclusive options, such as a seat with back support on the flying fox and a trampoline suitable for a wheelchair.

Following the success of that process, Blue Mountains City Council used the Funbobulator again for a second major park upgrade. 

For Buttenshaw Park, input was sought on designs for a youth adventure space aimed at older children and teenagers.

Almost 500 respondents used the Funbobulator to vote for equipment for that space resulting in proposed designs that feature a pump track, a one-of-a-kind climbing structure, a giant group swing and a
two-person spinner. 

The Buttenshaw Park playground will be built next year.