Play and Grow Up

Renovation of Cheburashka Park in Yelabuga

The Cheburashka park renovation project started in 2018 and was finalized during consultations and design workshops with experts and residents of Yelabuga. Our main task was to rethink the identity of the place, preserving its spirit and meanings important for the citizens.

Yelabuga, Tatarstan, Russia
Administration of the Yelabuga Municipal District, Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of Tatarstan Foundation


Cheburashka Park springs childhood memories of several generations of residents of Yelabuga. The original inhabitants of the new districts laid out the park with their own hands and, according to an urban legend, there was once a sculpture of Cheburashka cartoon character. Later, the park was famous for its attractions but by the end of the 2010s, the area fell into disrepair.


The aim of the project was to rethink the identity of the place, preserving its spirit and important meanings for the citizens, and to create a strategically important cycling link between the center of the new city and the historical core of Yelabuga. The main project proposals are: the creation of a network of pedestrian and bicycle paths, a new lighting system, high-quality landscaping and the organization of an artificial landscape to enhance the play potential of the territory, as well as 7 thematic play and functional zones. The main wish of the residents was to keep in touch with the hero of the park, so all new zones are inspired by the plots of the Cheburashka cartoon.

Be Curious. Explore what’s going on in the park to join an event of your choice — or suggest your own. Draw on the chalkboard and get to know the work of others.

Let’s Help Each Other. A place for adventure and mutual help: swing your friends on swings, defend your “ towers» together, and build sandcastles.

Let’s become friends. In the open pavilion, you can have heartfelt conversations, share ideas, gather around a guitar or spend time playing board games.

Test Yourself. At the climbing wall, you can try to conquer new routes and test yourself.

Let’s have fun! In the area with hilly terrain and a natural labyrinth, you can come up with many fun games. Jump, run, explore — be a child at any age.

Know yourself. Be alone with yourself in the «green rooms» — listening to the rustle of leaves and admiring the clouds, you may find answers to your questions. Think and dream in a cozy natural area.

Сare about nature. Study environmental issues at the botanical station «Rocket». Explore the richness of nature, take care of plants and participate in eco-projects.

Navigation. Quotes and images from the cartoon «Cheburashka» are used in navigation elements that tell park visitors about new sites.


Children's creative workshop "Let's help each other"

Together with specialists from the children's architectural studio Soda, we held a three-day creative workshop for elementary school students in Yelabuga. While working, they remembered the principles of friendship and mutual assistance taught by the cartoon about Cheburashka, and designed game elements that embodied these principles. These elements became the basis for the design of the Let's Help Each Other play area.

Project Seminar "Become Friends"

With this seminar, conducted with the participation of a psychologist, we wanted to create a sense of belonging in the future park among adolescents and young people and understand how they want to see the space for dating and communication. The ideas proposed by the participants became the basis for the design of the «Let’s become friends» site.


Cheburashka Park today

The renovated park has again become a favorite place for local families and a very actively used park throughout the year. In addition, Cheburashka has already become a place for city initiatives. Yoga and dance classes are held here, and a phyto-bar will soon open in the botanical station, which will sell herbal drinks and seedlings, and coordinate the program of botanical classes from school eco-clubs.


Караванная ул., 1, 191011


31 rue de Varenne 75007,


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