TM 5-803-11/AFJMAN 32-10139
SITE ANALYSIS AND USER NEEDS ANALYSIS
e. Current Population Data. Current population
distribution information should be obtained from
After the site has been selected, the design pro-
surveys prepared annually by the family housing
cess will begin with a thorough analysis of the site
and the needs of play area users. Input should in-
clude information obtained during site visits, from
3-4. Conduct a User Needs Analysis.
community members, and from relevant guidance
The play area design should reflect the needs of
the local community who will be using, managing,
and maintaining the site. Therefore, the designer
3-2. Coordinate with the Play Area Commit-
and play area committee should work together to
gather opinions about local community needs and
desires regarding the proposed play area. This com-
The designer will coordinate with the play area
munity involvement encourages a sense of owner-
committee throughout the design process. The com-
ship and responsibility to the finished play area.
mittee may participate in assessing user needs and
Some effective methods for involving user groups in
reviewing preliminary findings of the site inventory
determining the play area goals and in selecting
play area components include: community work-
shops, surveys and interviews, walking tours, field
3-3. Collect Relevant Documents.
trips, and special events, such as play days, mural-
The installation engineer is a resource for obtain-
making, or model-building activities. Participants
ing relevant documents needed for the site design.
may include the play area committee, installation
a. Site Maps. Topographic and infrastructure
community members, and children and youth. The
maps are essential for good design decision making.
user needs analysis results should be documented
Topographic maps define grade configurations and
in a written report.
landforms. An infrastructure or utilities map in-
a. Community Workshops. Community work-
cludes electrical elements located underground,
shops are discussion sessions designed for older
children, teens, and adults. Creating an environ-
overhead, and at ground level; sewer and water
ment that fosters free expression is essential for
lines; storm drains; and clean outs.
success. When a large group is expected, partici-
b. Installation Master Plans and Design Guide-
pants should be divided into small groups during a
lines. Installation design guides and master plans
portion of the workshop to allow greater participa-
should be obtained. Children's outdoor play areas
tion. Questions should be prepared to prompt the
should be developed in accordance with these docu-
discussion. Participants' comments should be re-
corded. Comments also should be summarized in a
c. Guidance, Standards, and Regulations. All ap-
workshop report. Besides discussion, community
plicable documents that provide design guidance or
workshops may incorporate walking tours, model-
requirements for the project should be collected.
building, and other activities.
These documents address child safety, age appropri-
b. Interviews. Personal interviews maybe used to
ate design, accessibility, materials, and equipment
gather opinions of community leaders and represen-
specifications. This manual and applicable refer-
tatives of community groups. Interview results pro-
enced documents (appendix A) should be included
vide direction for other aspects of the community
for guidance. The installation engineer will provide
involvement program, such as the development of
additional guidance documents, if necessary for spe-
workshop agendas or survey questions.
cial site conditions.
c. Community Surveys. Telephone, mail-in, and
door-to-door surveys extend participation beyond
d. Product Information. Product information
residents who normally attend meetings. These
should be obtained from project files or from the
techniques are valuable tools for assessing needs
manufacturer for any existing play equipment or
and gathering community opinions, ideas, sugges-
site furnishings that will be retained in the design.
tions, and comments from children, youth, and
This information will be used to determine the
adults. The surveys should be carefully developed
manufacturer's recommendations for equipment
and field tested with the intended audience. Survey
layout and maintenance.