Increasing the use of urban green space (UGS) as well as increasing cycling could potentially help address the growing inactivity problem. Three bicycle playgrounds were designed based on a participatory process and afterwards constructed in the UGS along a cycle-route on the historic outer defence circle around the City of Copenhagen, the Copenhagen Fortifications. The concept of a bicycle playground is new, and to examine how the three areas were used, and explore how users experience the areas, this study was designed as a combination of systematic observations, using the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC), and short on-site interviews with ‘typical users’. Based on the structural observations and 12 short interviews it became clear that 63% of the users were active during their use. The bicycle playgrounds main users were teenagers and children, especially boys. The interviewed users were, in general, very positive about the sites; they liked the concept and thought that it offered a new type of activity possibility. Many of the interviewed users said they lived 10–20 min away (by bicycle), but there were also a number of interviewees that lived very close to one of the sites. A future study involving objective before and after measures when a new bicycle playground is build will be needed to reveal if bicycle playgrounds can provide additional activity to its users, or ‘just’ a different type of activity, in a different location.
Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 2015, Vol 14, Issue 1, p. 163-169