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For Playable Cities: Make the City a Playground

The "Using Behavioral Economics to Create Playable Cities" report suggests that so much time spent in front of screens, and the continued need to counter the obesity epidemic, requires new thinking about play for children living in cities.
October 30, 2014, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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play fountain
Dennis Jernberg

Rachel Dovey shares news of a report by KaBOOM about how to build "playable cities" [pdf]. The idea is presented as an alternative to traditional play areas, which are lacking or underutilized in many places.

Here's how Dovey describes the idea put forward by the report: "Instead of setting spaces aside for play, why not integrate them into the streets, sidewalks and bus stops people use every day? If the park isn’t a destination — if it’s a bus stop in the shape of the word BUS that kids can lounge, jump and slide on — then they end up playing during their daily commute. And quick-access structures integrated into city streets could both keep families from leaving for the suburbs and encourage them to bike, walk and take the bus instead of driving cars."

To make that argument, the report "delves into some of the psychological barriers that can also limit access, using a lens called 'behavioral economics' to see 'how people make decisions in a complex and textured world where details matter.'"

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Published on Friday, October 24, 2014 in Next City
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