First creative playground for the children of Serbia in Kalemegdan/ Belgrade

“The first playground within the “100 Creative Playgrounds for the Children of  Serbia” action, at Kalemegdan park, shall serve as key example of the successful realization of this unique private / public partnership, based on strictly non- profit principles.
We hope to inspire a large number of local governments and donors from the field of business, as well as institutions in Serbia and abroad, to join this unique action which is necessary for Belgrade and the whole region, as soon as possible.
By working with the best in the field of innovation and design, we want to build playgrounds that will last, that will be in accordance with the highest EU, environmental and sustainability standards, keeping abreast with the times in which we live.
Our desire is to strongly support the most vulnerable and least protected population of Serbia today – its children – to provide a safe, comfortable, creative, active and versatile space for play and learn by physical experience.
In other words, to bring our children in touch with a certain high quality, global standard of design experience, an important inspiration for their further development through play.”

Jovan Jelovac
Belgrade Design Week Founder and Curator

With this entirely new approach to the realization of children’s playgrounds in Serbia, we want to bring
life to a concept that will last, be in accordance with the highest global environmental and sustainability standards, that will keep up with the times in which we live, and provide safe, comfortable and even a somewhat creative, active and versatile space for play.
In the same time, through collaboration with the some of the best creatives in the field of innovation and design, the playgrounds are meant to communicate a certain “worldly” feeling of design to the most vulnerable and the least protected Serbian population today – our children – as an important inspiration for their development through playing.
All playgrounds will be built exclusively in public areas selected in collaboration with local administrations, to provide a democratic and open access to all children of Serbia.

All participants in the project can contribute solely on a strict non-profit basis, communicating a strong message about the importance of advanced creative development of children in our society.
As esteemed partners, we invite all interested local administrations to offer locations and provide works and permits; designers, architects and equipment manufacturers to offer their valued services; commercial businesses and institutions to donate funding for the final implementation of the project and, finally, the media to provide the widest possible support through a generous dissemination of the project’s idea.
BDW performs the management and communication of the whole project under equally non-profit conditions, in particular the fund raising part, in terms of animating and inspiring potential partners to participate in the project, while controlling the realization until the turnkey solution at the very end, as creative curators with strict design and quality control of all playgrounds.

Lamda Development is seriously addressing its mission to revitalise the entire Dorćol quarter, not only our own slot at the location of the former BEKO factory. Equally as commissioning one of the world’s best architectural bureaus, Zaha Hadid Architects from London for the BECO development, we are taking care that all other activities of our company in the immediate environment follow the same kind of quality thinking in architecture. Searching for opportunities to improve our location in the area from Kalemegdan to the Danube, we were delighted with the proposal BDW made, especially because of the top design and quality of the playground project, that can match the level of what Lamda brings to Belgrade with the BECO project. We are happy to participate in this small but probably very important, charitable, joint effort with our partners from the City of Belgrade and Lappset, and contribute to the quality of everyday life for our neighbors in Dorćol. Especially as we have children ourselves, as responsible parents so to say, we are interested in enabling all children to be primary users of a certain modern view of development through play, which is promoted with the “100 Creative Playgrounds for the Children of  Serbia” project. We promise to continue this wonderful story for our children, from Kalemegdan this summer, with a series of new playgrounds built in the future BECO complex. “

Zisimos Danilatos
Director of corporate development Lamda Development / GR

At the first playground designed at the Kalemegdan park, Belgrade Design Week connected, as donors, the City of Belgrade with its offices and Property Development Ltd., Serbian branch of the Greek company Lamda Development, known for the construction of a complex on the site of the former Beko factory, restoring the part of Dorćol between the Fortress and the Danube. Their participation in “100 Creative BDW Playgrounds for Children of Serbia” has made it possible for one of the most important playgrounds in Belgrade, which was shut down by inspection because it did not meet the basic safety standards, to become an innovative playground, in terms of concept, quality and design, but also the kind of place that has the world-class quality seen in the greatest cities of Europe and the world.

The experience our association has had in building the first creative playground for children, located in Mali Kalemegdan in Belgrade, showed that only the synergy of all three sectors and the broad coalition can solve this problem in a systematic way. Along with our organization, the City of Belgrade, the relevant utility companies, private company Lamda Development (donor), the Embassy of Finland and the media also participated in the construction of the first playground.

“I am extremely delighted on behalf of Lappset Group Oy together with our enthusiastic team to be part of bring the joy of quality outdoor play equipment to the children in Serbia. This project is a perfect example of power of co-operation combined with mutual desire to improve the playing, learning and exercising environment for children in the area and it sets a nice standard for the future projects.”

Johanna Ikäheimo
Chairman of the Board, LAPPSET

Before we present the study itself, it is important to explain why we have chosen Mali Kalemegdan as the site for the first playground:

We believe that in any activity it is important to start with yourself and your immediate surroundings. BDW is located at Rige od Fere street in the vicinity of Mali Kalemegdan. While taking a walk with our children, we learned that the playground in the heart of Belgrade, one of the most frequently visited sites in Serbia, had been closed by inspection for safety reasons. It motivated us to mobilize and do something useful for our community.

With a generous donation and support from other partners we were able to build a brand new playground very quickly, the first designed playground in Serbia that meets all safety and quality standards.The playground was built on an area of 800 m2, of which 600 m2 is the space covered with toys for children to play with.

We selected “Mada Architecture Studio”, a team of some of the best young Serbian architects who designed, among other things, the Serbian Pavilion at Venice Biennale in 2012, to design the playground.

The toys produced by Finnish manufacturer Lappset were installed on the playground. We selected them for three reasons: toys by this manufacturer are high-quality and have all the required certificates, which unfortunately is not the case with national manufacturers; through the Embassy of Finland in Belgrade Lappset has agreed to offer a non-profit price of toys, and: toys from this manufacturer are well designed and fit the design concept.
Public utility companies in the City of Belgrade were in charge of preparatory construction works and for the playground maintenance.

Kalemegdan playground is the first example of a project based on the process of “design thinking”, which is based on five simple principles:

• Children should be able to fall on their heads without fear – provide them with a safety that justifies this bold statement – but at the same time we need to inspire and educate them by using the highest design standards.
• Be inspired by genius loci principle – the Kalemegdan uneven terrain is an inspiration for space design of the playground – and make the playground topography a toy in itself.
• Work only with the best equipment suppliers, legendary design brands – first of all those with a track record of innovation, sustainability, durability and quality of manufacture – such as Finnish company LAPPSET.
• Cooperate with local government institutions that are acting responsibly in terms of introducing EU safety and sustainability standards in the creation of children’s playgrounds.
• Last, but not least, manage a non-profit dialogue about donations and manufacture of playgrounds between the key patrons, in this case the City of Belgrade and Greek company LAMDA, entrusted with the modern development of the BEKO site in the immediate proximity, with the generous help of the Embassy of Finland in Serbia and LAPPSET Company.

“Around 20 years ago I spent many happy days with my children in the playgrounds in Helsinki. Couple of days ago I walked through one of them and it was as busy as 20 years ago with children (and some adults too!) playing with and climbing on the same Lappset equipment, as did my children. Of course there were also some new nice equipment but the old ones witness the durability and functionality, not to mention safety, of the Lappset equipment. I am so happy that the children in Belgrade can now share the excitement of inspiring playing and learning environment that Lappset represents-hopefully soon also other children all over Serbia can do the same. Lappset is a great example of functional Finnish design and quality I am truly proud of as a Finn. Children’ playgrounds are an important part of creative education which is absolutely the most important prerequisite for any development and competitiveness. The children of Serbia deserve that investment. I am really grateful for all who made the establishment of this Lappset playground possible in Kalemegdan.”

Pekka Orpana
Ambassador of Finland in Belgrade


Belgrade Design Week is overwhelmed by the significant media interest for the “100 creative BDW playgrounds for the children of Serbia” project. Leading national media outlets such us Tanjug, Blic, B92 have disseminated key messages from the opening, while a dozen TV stations broadcasted video reportages in key daily news shows, from the Serbian Broadcasting Corportaion to Studio B.

BDW is thankful for a such a support by the media, as this clearly presents the best way for those important messages of the pan-European HUMAN CITIES/ project to reach our citizens, our community and the future partners and supporters of our project.




The First Creative Playground in Kalemegdan/ Belgrade

The First Creative Playground in Kalemegdan/ Belgrade

The first creative playground built according to EU standards thanks to Lamda Development and the City of Belgrade as main donors, the Embassy of Finland in Serbia and the Finnish company “Lappset” as partners

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The Second Creative Playground in Kalemegdan/ Belgrade

The Second Creative Playground in Kalemegdan/ Belgrade

BDW in collaboration with the City of Belgrade and the NIS corporation as main donors, the Embassy of Finland in Serbia and the Finnish company “Lappset” as partners, has provided a new, inspiring and safe place for children to play

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The Third Creative Playground in the Grand Park/ Kragujevac

The Third Creative Playground in the Grand Park/ Kragujevac

The Grand Creative Park of the City of Kragujevac, is BDW’s contribution to HUMAN CITIES/ project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the EU, with the support of the City of Kragujevac and Foundation “Dragica Nikolic”

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The Forth Cretive Playground in Usce/ New Belgrade

The Forth Cretive Playground in Usce/ New Belgrade

Forth creative playground is planned to be built at the Ušće plateau in front of the UŠĆE Shopping Center, who recognized the importance of improving childen’s play and became our partner

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Great impressions from the conference, but also from the city, from the parties, and from the food!”