Sime Darby Property Berhad is partnering UNICEF to build Malaysia’s first Inclusive Playground at the award winning City of Elmina township. The inclusive playground will be an integral part of the township’s 300-acre central park which is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2019. The project will set the standard for building inclusive playgrounds and public spaces for the industry.
Amrin Awaluddin, Sime Darby Property Group Managing Director says, “Sime Darby Property is proud to partner a leading global organisation like UNICEF. We believe in developing vibrant communities through great products such as our multigenerational homes and this new initiative will take our commitment a step further. All children have a right to play and be included. We truly admire and support UNICEF’s commitment in making positive changes for children with disabilities in Malaysia, to ensure they are free from discrimination to support their growth and development.”
As part of the MOU, a Best Business Practice Circular and Guidance Toolkit will be produced from this project. Property developers who want to emulate this best practice example can benefit from utilising the open source toolkit to build inclusive spaces, and playgrounds. The Inclusive Playground in City of Elmina will demonstrate the application of Universal Design Principles and the Malaysian Standard in the creation of public spaces.
Marianne Clark-Hattingh, UNICEF Representative in Malaysia says, “Inclusive Playgrounds not only enable children with and without disabilities to play together as equals, they also create opportunities for intergenerational interaction within families and social cohesion of the wider community. The Inclusive Playground in the City of Elmina led by Sime Darby Property will be held up as a beacon of good business practice which is socially responsible and inclusive for all.”
As children are affected by how businesses treat their parents, operates its facilities, develops and markets its products, provides its services, and exerts its influence on economic and social development, the private sector has a responsibility to ensure that its business operations promote and protect the rights of children. The right to play is enshrined in article 31 of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child. When children play, they learn and develop physically, emotionally, cognitively, enabling them to improve their ability to navigate the world. Building an inclusive playground and public spaces that is accessible to all creates an environment that is rich in diversity for a more cohesive society.
The City of Elmina continues to be at the forefront of Sime Darby Property’s townships after being crowned winner of the 2017 Star Property Award for the Five-Elements Township category and the Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia excellence award for outstanding landscape design in a township. The township is planned and developed in line with specifications set out by Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey, an internationally recognised standard that measures liveability.