100,000 Playgrounds

Advocacy group KaBOOM have launched a campaign to map play places across the U.S. called 100,000 Playspaces in 100 Days. The goal is to create a useful tool for planners for evaluating networks of parks and recreation.
April 28, 2009, 9am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"...Dancing With the Stars winner Julianne Hough will donate a dollar to children's charities for every play place in the United States marked by users on a map, up to $100,000. The end result will be a comprehensive map of places designated for play in cities and towns across America, giving planners and the growing ranks of their DIY counterparts a valuable tool for improving local play networks.

Of course, the mapping campaign only takes into account the sanctioned play areas in a city, with categories for playgrounds, ice rinks, skateparks, swimming pools, and play fields for baseball, football, soccer, and basketball. As every city-dweller knows, these places are important, but kids will play anywhere and everywhere. If a skatepark or playground is not provided, benches and planters will often suffice. The same can be said of streets and open lots standing in for absent sports fields. While the KaBOOM map will undoubtedly be a useful resource, the line between formal and informal play places is often more subtle than this mapping project can account for."

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Published on Monday, April 27, 2009 in Next American City
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