Standards in public administration
Standards ensure high quality, safety and legal certainty in public administration.
Activity spaces rather than playgrounds
When social needs change, the requirements for the "built" environment change as well: Playgrounds – originally intended exclusively for children – will become carefully designed spaces for play and activities of several generations in future.
ÖNORM B 2607 points in this direction and takes account of changes in the social environment. It does not deal with "playgrounds for children" but rather with concepts for "grounds for play and physical activity". To allow for needs-oriented implementation, the ÖNORM standard offers the basis for local development planning and comprehensively co-ordinated instruments, for example for drawing up development plans, revising land-use and zoning plans and for expertly designing facilities. Moreover, it serves as a basis for reviewing and, if necessary, amending relevant provisions in spatial planning and playground legislation.
It is applicable to playgrounds and physical activity grounds in parks, green spaces, squares, housing estates, commercial establishments (e.g. gastronomy), sports and recreational facilities, social infrastructure (schools, kindergartens, hospitals) as well as temporary areas.
In addition to changed living conditions, medical, educational, psychological and sociological findings have been input into this standard. It states that play and physical activities "are considered necessary not only for children and young people, but for people of any age. Non-functioning or lacking facilities for play and physical activity hamper healthy development and limit recreational activities, whereas functioning facilities for play and physical activity contribute to human socialization and re-humanizing our cities and towns".
Sustainability of events
Not only playgrounds, but also events attract many people. ÖNORM ISO 20121 defines requirements for sustainability and supports practical implementation.
An open-air cinema, a sports event, a pop concert: Wherever many people come together standards are needed to ensure security and sustainability. This requires careful and comprehensive planning by organizers so that events can proceed smoothly and are commercially successful. It is increasingly necessary to take account of effects caused during and after events. After all, events – especially large-scale events – have an impact on the environment and people in the direct vicinity: large volumes of waste, trampled green areas, damage in public spaces, exposure of local residents to noise pollution, congestions and elevated pollutant emissions during arrivals and departures.
ÖNORM ISO 20121 addresses all persons and organizations involved in the preparation and implementation of events, such as organizers, workers, supply chain organizations (caterer, transport companies, stage builders, etc.), supervisory authorities and on-site managers.
The standard offers a sound basis for identifying potentially negative social and environmental impacts and preventing undesirable consequences by appropriate planning.
Safety in cities and towns
Local governments have great responsibility for their citizens. From adequate safety for children at childcare facilities, schools or playgrounds to optimum lighting of pedestrian crossings and compliance with quality standards for drinking water, there is a broad range of functions to be fulfilled by local governments.
With regard to retirement homes, for example, ÖNORM EN 15224 ensures that all requirements of the internationally accepted standard ÖNORM EN ISO 9001 (quality management systems) are met together with additional healthcare-related specifications on risk management as well as patient and resident safety.
Another standard that is also relevant for cities and towns is ÖNORM L 1122 "Tree inspection and tree care". It recommends the establishment of a tree register that covers all trees growing in the built-up and traffic areas of a city, their inspection for stability and the results of regular status checks.
Mayor Arno Guggenbichler reports about related activities in his town in the Tyrol:
"The relevant employees of the town have attended a course and now they know precisely what they have to bear in mind during tree care work in order to minimize potential risks. My primary concern is not to avoid financial liability but it rather is a matter of having a clear conscience. The citizens of our town rely on those in charge to do their utmost to ensure safety and a high quality of living in the town. We must not abuse their trust."
Standards facilitate the work of cities and towns
"Standards help us fully document processes and give us the assurance that we act diligently and properly in decision-making," summarizes Guggenbichler.
More information on the application of standards in the municipal sector.
ÖNORM B 2607 Outdoor grounds for play and physical activity – Concepts and planning of playgrounds
ÖNORM EN 15224 Quality management systems – EN ISO 9001:2015 for healthcare
ÖNORM EN ISO 9001 Quality management systems – Requirements
ÖNORM ISO 20121 Event sustainability management – Requirements with guidance for use
ÖNORM L 1122 Tree inspection and tree care