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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Adventure Playgrounds & Mutli-Use Destinations

Adventure Playgrounds & Mutli-Use Destinations | green streets | Scoop.it

There has been a recent burst of interest in adventure playgrounds, which “depend on ‘loose parts,’ such as water, sand, balls, and other manipulable materials.” Thoughtful articles from The Guardian‘s Justin McGuirk, Kill Screen‘s Yannick LeJacq, and Cabinet magazine’s James Trainor have each explored the history of this movement within the past couple of months, revisiting everything from Aldo van Eyck’s work in Amsterdam following WWII, to the unique cast of characters behind the surge of interest in London and New York in the 1960s.

To see so much solid new writing on this subject should be encouraging to anyone who hopes to see kids playing amidst wood chips again. Unstructured play is having a moment, and moments are meant to be capitalized on.

 

Cities are where us “grown-ups” play at leading meaningful and enjoyable lives, so it may be helpful (if anecdotal) to think of playgrounds as the staging areas for the cities of tomorrow. If we want to live in siloed cities, with offices here, houses there, and all quarters safely demarcated by wide arterial roads, we should probably go right on ahead building playgrounds where the slides and plastic tic-tac-toes cower away from each other. But if we want bustling, creative cities full of the surprise and serendipity that makes urban life so enjoyable, we might want to start thinking about playgrounds as microcosmic multi-use destinations...

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Donna Sharp's comment, July 26, 2012 12:25 AM
I think that the idea of adventure playgrounds is a wonderful idea; I even think that my two little boys would have the time of their lives there but I also think that there is a time and place for playgrounds of this type. I do not think that school yard playgrounds should be fully converted to such because the schools and districts first need to think about the children’s safety and it would be implausible to have enough adult supervision during recess.
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Children in Cities: Forging a Sustainable Urban Future

Children in Cities: Forging a Sustainable Urban Future | green streets | Scoop.it

Over half the world’s people – including more than one billion children – make their homes in the world’s cities, where the interconnectedness of economic, social, and environmental inequality is manifest.

The Rio+20 Conference will consider, among other things, what it takes to ensure that cities grow in a sustainable way. The transformations it envisions present an opportunity to extend the benefits of development to those currently excluded, by making sure that social support is a feature of the green economy...

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