Research

Using Behavioral Economics to Create Playable Cities

New research from KaBOOM! and behavioral economics research firm ideas42 shows that cities must become more playable to ensure that all kids across every socio-economic background are getting the balanced and active play they need to thrive.

The resulting white paper, Using Behavioral Economics to Create Playable Cities, identifies the behavioral bottlenecks that prevent kids from getting balanced and active play and three solutions cities can take to holistically address them.

Play Everywhere: Communities should explore making "dead time" experienced by low-income, urban families (waiting at bus stops, lengthy waits in doctors' offices, laundromats, etc.) more playful. Cities have many undiscovered assets that can be used to fill their communities with play everywhere.

Proximity Matters: Cities can create mini play destinations "around the corner." When parks and playgrounds are a bus ride away, they become special-occasion locations. Cities need to develop small, modest but right-around-the-corner options with interesting play structures.

Create Family-Friendly Cities: Communities should make play more inclusive and appealing to the whole family. Get the parents/caregivers excited by incorporating things they may want to do, like hiking or visiting zoos or exercising, in accessible ways.