FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today, KaBOOM! released a groundbreaking, comprehensive guidebook for helping cities and communities improve kids' lives through implementing Play Everywhere projects - transformations of city infrastructure that make opportunities to play a part of everyday routines. Over the past three years, KaBOOM! has partnered with nearly 100 organizations and cities to turn everyday places into playful community hubs that encourage social cohesion and community safety; focusing their efforts in under-resourced neighborhoods. The Play Everywhere Playbook compiles best practices and lessons learned to make it easier for communities to champion, design and build kid‑friendly communities.
The Playbook release coincides with an evaluation of KaBOOM! Play Everywhere projects conducted by Gehl, which demonstrates their impact. For example, because of these Play Everywhere installations, 90% of community members felt safer from both traffic and crime. Two out of three people met new neighbors while visiting the playspace, and 70% reported that their community's project increased the amount of time kids spent playing that day.
"This moment is a call to action for all cities to prioritize equitable infrastructure investment that meets the needs of all kids and families," said James Siegal, CEO of KaBOOM!. "The Play Everywhere evaluation shows why - Neighbors become more connected, kids learn and grow, and previously neglected spaces become safe and vibrant. The Play Everywhere Playbook is a roadmap for how to make that happen in your community, too."
Play Everywhere inspires people to reshape the public realm with kids and families in mind, inviting wonder and learning to everyday places like bus stops, sidewalks and beyond," said Jeff Risom, Partner and Managing Director, US of Gehl. "Building on the findings from the evaluation, the KaBOOM! Playbook provides the steps and tools city and community leaders need to invite for play and to understand and then incorporate the needs of kids into city design."
"The Play Everywhere projects in Charlotte have been an important way for us to show kids in our community that they are welcome and worthy of investment," said Mayor Vi Lyles. "Projects like GovPorch encourage connectivity between our local government and the kids and families we serve, building relationships and trust in a way that only playing together can."
Every Play Everywhere project – whether it transforms a bus stop into a playspace, a sidewalk into a playful journey, or a vacant lot into a vibrant gathering place – is unique to the needs of its community, capturing its character and addressing additional cross-cutting factors impacting kids and families. These Play Everywhere projects are a demonstration of what's possible when city leaders and residents come together and design better communities where kids can thrive.
For forty years, Gehl has pioneered an approach to designing cities that roots creativity in in-depth understanding of how people do and can behave in the space between buildings. Its approach is manifested in projects worldwide.
Gehl Institute is a nonprofit organization promoting a new discipline within the fields of urban design, architecture, planning and city governance that will enable cities to address the most burning issues facing them today. From CO2 emissions to income inequality, and from health to crime, we believe in measuring public life to evaluate the impact of design on these trends. This approach provides new tools for cities to more effectively work with citizens to craft solutions rooted in place and responsive to rapidly evolving urban culture.
Our vision is to enable city leaders to enact a people-first approach that prioritizes the very resource most vital to our urban future - people.