Urban play: designing playgrounds for cities

rsz_photo__playform_7_location_singapore_nightPlay is vital for everyone but unfortunately in some communities, play spaces are harder to come by. Lack of age appropriate playgrounds and cramped urban areas are partly to blame. While cities are filled with opportunities for endless entertainment, like museums and theaters, they are often sparse when it comes to parks and playgrounds. In fact, children living in urban areas tend to face more barriers to play than their country and suburban counterparts. That’s one of the reasons it’s important we create refreshing playground equipment that is fit for urban environments. When your backyard is another city block, having a play space nearby is key. Regardless of the communities where children reside, play should be equally accessible.

When designing playgrounds specifically for urban areas, there are different factors requiring consideration. With the lack of open, safe space in cities, it can be challenging to engage children and families in outdoor play. At Playworld, our designers strive to ensure the equipment we’re creating for these areas is not only sustainable for the site conditions, but also engaging for the children. When encouraging children to venture outdoors, it is also important to provide them with a safe as well as a fun play environment. Making the most of open spaces and parks can help keep children from playing on side streets.

I often find myself picturing a playground and how it blends into the busy cityscape. For example, public art installations or decorative sculptures within a city are fairly common. Play and sculpture have intersected throughout history. As art is play for the mind, so can it be physical play for the body. This idea helped shape our thinking behind play sculpture and PlayForm 7. The structure fits seamlessly into urban areas, serving as a unique sculptural form as well as a thought-provoking play space for children.

Playworld’s recently introduced PlayCubes are another great play sculpture for cities. Their successful installation in Boston can attest to that. With their modular layout, PlayCubes can be configured in countless ways – ideal for settings where space is at a premium. Their fun shape and visual appeal provides urban areas with a unique piece for people of all ages to relax on and play.

How does play fit into your urban lifestyle?