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We Don't Play in Public Like We Used To

As more and more children are kept in homes and yards, Joe Cortright worries about the effects of private play on American culture and public spaces.
February 25, 2017, 7am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Meanwhile, in France.
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"Changes in technology, the economy and society have all coalesced to create more fragmentation and division," Joe Cortright writes in City Observatory. This separation also affects children, Cortright argues, "instead of going to public parks and playgrounds, more children play in the copious backyards of suburban homes. This trend is amplified by helicopter parents."

As evidence of this growing separation, Cortright points to pools. In the first part of the 20th century, private pools were almost unheard of, now there are over 5 million. "The number of persons who belong to private gyms has increased from about 13 million in 1981 to more than 50 million," Cortright points out.

He goes on to say, "Public parks are one of the places where people of different races, ethnicities and incomes can come together and share experiences." As more people look to entertain themselves in private, these spaces may lose something important.

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Published on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 in City Observatory
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