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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Creative management: a framework for designing multifunctional play biotopes - lessons from a Scandinavian landscape laboratory

Wistrom, Bjorn; Martensson, Fredrika; Ode Sang, Asa; Litsmark, Anna; Hedblom, Marcus


Most children grow up in urbanised settings with a low possibility to experience biodiversity and nature. However, experiencing nature and other species increases children's wellbeing, health, learning abilities and their understanding of nature values. Play biotopes is one solution for supporting a co-existence between children and different species in nature-based play settings. Play biotopes are based on ecological theories, where structures in the morphology of landscapes at different scales and the content of flora and fauna can support children's interplay with a part of the landscape. However, traditional landscape management is not adapted to support the dynamic nature of play biotopes, especially when considering multiple scales. This makes it interesting to explore more dynamic management concepts arching over multiple scales. Accordingly, we here explore creative management as a scale-based framework for design by management to further develop the concept of play biotopes. Using examples from a landscape laboratory in southern Sweden, we propose that a creative management framework combining the scales of landscape, biotope, place, and object together with play connectivity can support the creation and management of multifunctional play biotopes.


Urban biodiversity; Children's environment; Temperate zone; Design by management; Multiple scales

Published in

Urban Ecosystems
Publisher: SPRINGER