Future trends in sports for all and outdoor spaces on the third day of the congress

Future trends and global visions for sport and leisure

The forward-locking thematic block under the chairmanship of Jorge Ehlers Hodar, President of the IAKS LAC Section, met with lively interest all round. The speakers came from both sides of the Atlantic: Tracey Martin (Project Manager at the Centre for Healthier Generations) from Canada, Marion LaRue (architect at DIALOG) from Canada, Ola Mattsson (Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities) from Denmark and Juan Diego Quintero Toro (foreign emissary of the Sports and Leisure Authority in Medellin) from Colombia. Nevertheless, they all agreed that the health and physical well-being of the population is the pivotal factor.

In their talks, the speakers demanded more opportunities for exercise, the creation of new exercise spaces, all-year gym usage and more flexibility on the part of operators. Overall, it is necessary to create extra spaces that combine sports and leisure to a greater degree than hitherto. Communication, creativity and operative flexibility are called for in order to strengthen joint awareness of the importance of exercise.

University and school recreation facilities

The three speakers impressively described successful models from their respective fields: David Body (sports consultant from the USA), Mike Hall from England (architect, urban designer and partner at FaulknerBrowns) and Gabu Heindl from Austria (Managing Director of GABU Heindl Architektur / Städtebau+). The thematic block was chaired by Dr Benjamin Flowers from the USA (School of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology).

The starting point is early and continuous provision of games opportunities at schools and universities. This vision for the future is targeted at the 4th dimension, i.e. the interlinking of competitive sports, recreation and offers for the broad public. A practical example illuminated the function of a school sports facility as a central sports and leisure centre that is also used jointly by the local vocational training school and the secondary school. After extension of the school complex to include further elements, the sports centre is now used by all sections of the local district's population.

From industrial infrastructure to transformative urban experiences

Previously neglected shore areas are undergoing strong economic revival thanks to new offers aimed at specific target groups. The speakers Regina Myer from New York (President of Brooklyn Bridge Park), Kathy Ball (expert in tourism development of the City of Thunder Bay in Canada and Coordinator of Waterfront Operations) and Rod Marler (Head of Urban Development, Panuku Development Auckland, New Zealand) presented examples of the successful redevelopment of post-industrial shore areas and their conversion into multifunctional public spaces. Conrad Boychuk, Senior Director of Recreation and Venue Development at HDR I CEI Architecture, chaired the thematic block. The projects presented need the design skills of architects, the enterprising spirit of clients and the innovative powers of the companies involved.


Outdoor spaces for sports, leisure and play

"The city is becoming a sports ground" is what one might think when considering the prize-winning projects presented in the thematic block chaired by Prof. Robin Kähler. With reference to the athletics facility in Odense, the two architects from KEINGART – space activators from Denmark, Maria Keinicke Davidsen und Flemming Anders Overgaard, showed how a run-down sports facility has been upgraded. The facility is a perfect example of how traditional sports can be given new inspiration and new impetus by combining stimulating design with modern technology and the culture of healthy urban living.

In Austria the once neglected area right in the town centre of Innsbruck has developed into a stage for the practice of various activities in the urban environment – and this in a historically sensitive setting, as Frank Ludin, founder of LAAC Architekten, and Klaus Juen from the Service Office of the Land of Tyrol explained.

Oliver Vanges from the Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities presented Scandinavia's largest climbing hall: a conversion of an old shipyard shed on a harbour island in Copenhagen. The Blocs & Walls Climbing Centre is a flexible and versatile facility capable of being operated economically by an association of volunteers for daily use as well as for sports, social and cultural events.