Letting Children Take Back Our streets

Tim Gill chronicles a community-based movement to reclaim streets for play, part of a global wave of playful street-based interventions looking to change the nature of how we view our shared spaces.

What caught Gill's eye recently was a job posting for a "street play research officer" in New York City, which resonated with a movement he's witnessed first-hand in the UK to make neighborhoods more child-friendly, and catalyze longer-term community action in the process.

According to Gill, the genesis of these actions can be found in the desire by parents "to get their children away from screens and out of doors, where they can play freely with their friends. In many urban neighbourhoods – especially where green space is in short supply - streets are the closest and most convenient communal space for play."

These efforts connect to a global trend reflected in interventions, such as Bogota's ciclovias and the annual Paris beachfront, that represent "a wider reappraisal of the way cities work: to promote walking and cycling, reduce the impact of car growth and make urban areas more liveable," writes Gill.

Full Story: Is street play coming back into fashion?

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