Play in your city! (And dance, and …)

Where do we play in our urban areas? Where would it be good to play more? Good weather is a good time to think about this – and exercise the power of play for people.

From chess to kickabouts to making a miniature metropolis in the mud… from chasing games to dragon drama to pokémon go to hide-and-seek to hackysack to dancing…

How can we creatively encourage play for all ages? Image credit: Big Play Out

It’s (always) time to think about play, for everyone of all ages! But summer is a great time to nudge your city to be a bit more playable – at least for a few months.

Playgrounds aren’t just for kids anymore! Image credit: Senior Planet

Play and the city – what?

There’s special places for play – playgrounds, sports fields and so on – destinations that are denominated for play and have lots of infrastructure (including fences) so the play (or players) doesn’t spill out too much, or the outside world come in.

All kinds of places can be reclaimed for Play. Image credit: Wellington City Council

But then there’s also playable (or danceable) public space: street corners, wide footpaths, paved or gravelled areas, berms with trees or things to climb on… it might be perpetually playable, or it might be easily turned into a good time for a few hours (play streets FTW!) or a few months that turn into years.

Do you live in an inner city area, or think about it?

How much do you think about having spaces, or places, where you (or anyone else you care about) can play?

Wellingon City council want to know, and they’ve got a couple of “tell us what what you want” consultations open til 29th January (closes Sunday!). They’re particularly keen to know what kids want – well played WCC!

And remember, thanks to the Reshaping Streets legislative changes (imminent! surely!), it’s now much easier for councils to get out of the way (or even help!) things like play streets around schools, and neighbourhood get-togethers in that bit of playable space hidden in plain sight: that residential street.

You too can turn your street into a beautiful Play Street! Image credit: Play in the Hutt

For a bit of inspiration, check out Hutt City’s fantastic (and rightfully award-winning) Play in the Hutt – including the power to magically transform your residential street or corner park with one of their Trailers of Play!

the goodness from inside the “build it” Trailer Of Play

So, what nudge could you do this summer to get more play in your city?

Further resources

Banner image credit: Bike Auckland

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