Fitness areas in urban parks

Design guidelines

Fitness areas in urban parks: design guidelines
Veronica Tucci per

Article by


Urban parks

Published on

15 November 2023

What factors influence the correct design of areas dedicated to fitness within an urban public park?

Maintaining an active lifestyle is crucial to our overall health and well-being. And there’s nothing better than having free access to an outdoor fitness area to encourage people to exercise.

Below, we will explore guidelines for designing these areas, including the best devices to install, the spaces needed to ensure the safety and comfort of patrons, and how to optimize the user experience.

Designing fitness areas in parks is an opportunity to create a welcoming and motivating environment for outdoor exercise. Attracting fitness enthusiasts and creating a place that meets the needs of people of different ages and fitness levels is key to the success of such spaces.

If you want to design a fitness area that is functional, safe and aesthetically pleasing, this article will provide you with all the information you need. Therefore, read on to find out everything you need to know about designing fitness areas in urban public parks.

Fitness areas within urban parks offer numerous benefits for frequenters. First of all, these areas provide a stimulating environment for outdoor exercise. In a world where many jobs require sedentary activity, having a place dedicated to outdoor exercise can encourage people to move more and take care of their health.

Fitness areas in parks also offer the opportunity to socialize and exercise together with other people, creating a sense of community and mutual support. Additionally, these areas are free to access, making exercise more accessible to everyone, regardless of financial means. Finally, sports areas in parks can encourage people to spend more time outdoors, enjoying the benefits of nature and fresh air, thus improving their overall well-being.

Sports areas in urban parks
Sports areas in urban parks – Photo by Alexnikit1981 on Canva

The fitness area in urban parks must be designed taking into account various factors, in order to maximize the benefits for visitors.

  • Position. It is essential to choose a spot within the park that is easily accessible and clearly visible. This will encourage people to use the fitness area and make clear the exercise opportunities available.
  • Offer different levels of fitness and ability. The fitness area should be designed to meet the needs of multiple people. This means offering a variety of equipment and devices suitable for both beginners and more experienced athletes.
  • Safety. Fitness areas should be designed in such a way as to guarantee the safety of users, with compliant and correctly installed devices, as well as large spaces to avoid accidents.
  • Aesthetics. It is important that fitness areas are aesthetically pleasing, with a design that integrates well into the surrounding environment and encourages people to use the area.

Design principles are critical to creating functional, safe, and aesthetically pleasing spaces.


Fitness areas must be accessible to people of different ages and levels of athletic training, including those with disabilities or physical limitations. This means providing equipment suitable for different abilities and ensuring that spaces are easily accessible even for people with reduced mobility. Furthermore, fitness areas should be designed to encourage universal use, without discriminating based on gender, age or physical ability.


Fitness areas should offer a variety of devices and equipment to meet different user needs and preferences. We can provide an area in which various equipment is collected, or create fitness paths in which the equipment is located along the walkways of the park.

Among the equipment to include in a fitness area, there are:

  • Cardio fitness. Equipment such as treadmills, exercise bikes, ellipticals and steppers.
  • Muscle strengthening. Free weights, machines for training specific muscle groups.
  • Workout stations. Structures equipped with horizontal bars, benches, rings and ropes to perform free body training exercises.

Offering a variety of options will allow users to choose the activity that best suits their needs and preferences.


Fitness areas must be designed taking into account the safety of users. This means installing devices correctly secured to the ground and with clear instructions on correct use. Furthermore, fitness areas should be designed to prevent accidents, for example by avoiding sharp edges or slippery surfaces. Regular maintenance of the equipment is also essential to ensure the safety of attendees.


It is essential to consider the space available for installing the equipment. Which should be arranged in such a way as to guarantee a smooth traffic flow and large spaces to avoid collisions between users. Furthermore, it is important to take into account the size of the devices themselves and the area required for the safe use of each of them.


On the market it is possible to find a wide range of devices and equipment, of different materials and price ranges. The important thing is to find a balance between the service you want to offer, the quality of the equipment and the budget available.

Equipped fitness area
Equipped fitness area – Photo by Illusob on Canva

The safety of fitness areas in urban parks is of fundamental importance to guarantee the safety of visitors. There are several aspects that need to be taken into consideration during the design process.

Choose high-quality and safe equipment and devices. These should be made according to current regulations, with resistant and long-lasting materials, so as to withstand the wear and tear caused by frequent use and atmospheric conditions. Furthermore, equipment should be designed to minimize the risk of injury. For example, devices should rest on non-slip and anti-trauma surfaces, have rounded edges and safety mechanisms to avoid accidents.

Install the equipment correctly. Devices should be securely fixed to the ground, using appropriate anchors. This will prevent them from moving or tipping over during use, thus reducing the risk of injury. Furthermore, instructions for using the equipment should be clear and easily accessible for attendees.

Maintain equipment regularly. Regular maintenance of the devices is essential to ensure their correct functioning and the safety of visitors. This includes cleaning, lubricating moving mechanisms and replacing damaged or worn parts.

Lighting. Fitness areas should be adequately lit. Good lighting is essential to ensure the safety of visitors when using the area and tools. This means providing adequate lighting throughout the space, including surrounding spaces.

Designing fitness areas within urban parks is an opportunity to create inclusive, functional and safe spaces for outdoor physical exercise. By following the correct design guidelines, you can create a stimulating environment that meets the needs of people of different ages and fitness levels. It is important to take factors such as accessibility, variety, safety and equipment selection into account during the design process. Furthermore, regularly maintaining equipment and providing adequate lighting are also key elements in ensuring the safety of patrons. By creating well-designed fitness areas, urban parks can become accessible and motivating workout spaces for the community, promoting an active lifestyle and overall well-being.

Cover photo: Werayuth on Canva


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