Overwhelming Popularity of PlayCubes in Chinatown Park Results in Extended Installation by the Greenway
PlayCubes, Designed by Manufacturer Playworld, Augments Conservancy’s New Play Program
November 4, 2016 – BOSTON, MA – The Greenway Conservancy(rosekennedygreenway.org) today announced that a popular children’s playground in The Greenway’s Chinatown Park will remain after rave reviews to the initial five-month installation. The PlayCubes™ (Playworld.com/PlayCubes), offering physical, social and cognitive play value and engagement, provide children and families with yet another reason to visit the southernmost area of the 1.5-mile park.
The Greenway Conservancy sponsored a thorough public process to gauge local interest in the PlayCubes remaining in the park, revealing a passion had developed for the play equipment. The Conservancy designed a bilingual survey that was shared in both the Chinatown and Leather District neighborhoods with nearly two-dozen community groups, media outlets, and civic leaders. Over 93 percent of survey respondents indicated a desire for the PlayCubes to remain on The Greenway in Chinatown Park beyond their slated October 2016 removal. Based on user feedback and operational considerations, the Conservancy has extended the installation of the two largest PlayCubes systems (of the initial four-system installation): the eight-cube arrangement with slide and the 10-cube arrangement. In November, these PlayCubes will be reconfigured to maximize space for other uses of the plaza.
“We are delighted the Conservancy was able to work with the community to find a solution that keeps the popular children’s play structure in the park,” offered Greenway Conservancy Executive Director Jesse Brackenbury. “The Conservancy made a concerted effort in 2016 to expand our family-focused play offerings and the PlayCubes have become a major component in that plan. We particularly thank Playworld, PlayCubes manufacturer, for their partnership in this important initiative, to ensure the families of Chinatown, the Leather District, and beyond have this dynamic play space available to them on an on-going basis.”
Playworld is a leading commercial playground equipment manufacturer committed to saving outdoor unstructured play. The Greenway is home to the company’s first installation of PlayCubes, equipment originally introduced in the 1960s by architect Richard Dattner, and recently reintroduced by Playworld through an exclusive partnership between Dattner and the brand.
“We’re thrilled the local community felt so passionate about PlayCubes that The Greenway opted to keep the two largest play systems,” said Missy Benson, play advocate for Playworld. “We designed PlayCubes to fit seamlessly into urban areas, serving as a unique sculptural form as well as an exciting play space for children. We hope the residents of Chinatown and the Leather District have many years of fun enjoying PlayCubes. It’s truly wonderful to see families rally together to turn a pop up play space into a long-term play space."
The PlayCubes initially came to The Greenway’s Chinatown Park as a centerpiece in Design Museum Boston’s city-wide exhibition on design and the importance of outdoor play, Extraordinary Playscapes.
"The PlayCubes installation demonstrates the power of design to transform communities through creativity and innovation," said Sam Aquillano, executive director of Design Museum Boston. "I'm so excited the Greenway Conservancy is extending their stay in Chinatown Park!”
The continued availability of PlayCubes on The Greenway follows a season which saw the launch of The Greenway’s Play program. Through a private grant, the Conservancy hired a play coordinator and organized a series of activities in the park that focus on the educational benefits of unstructured play. The slate of events included partnerships with the Asian Community Development Corporation’s A-VOYCE youth program, the New England Aquarium, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, CBT Architects, and more. The play program also included opened-ended GreenPLAY sessions featuring Imagination Playground blocks, a nature build kit, and the Uni Draw and Uni Read mobile activity labs.
Additionally, the Conservancy installed Chinatown Park’s first Little Free Library in October to capitalize on the success of the Uni Read in Chinatown Park this season. Little Free Libraries allow park users to borrow a book and leave books for others. The Chinatown Park Little Free Library is the third installed by the Conservancy since taking over management of the park in 2009. Members of the public are invited to bring their used books to the Little Free Library to restock the shelves and pass along their favorites to others!
What They’re Saying – Quotes from survey responses
“A great place for children to play and parents/grandparents to socialize with their friends all in one place.”
“Great city play area. It is nice to see families stopping by the park and playing for a while after work and school. It makes this area feel very family friendly and allows people who live and work in the community to interact and meet each other. We love it.”
“The PlayCubes have been a fantastic addition to Chinatown Park. I am a parent of two little girls who have spent their entire lives playing in this park, and we hope that this structure can be maintained and even expanded in the future. We are also very grateful for the kind volunteers who set up the playtime activities in the park. Thank you!”
About The Greenway
The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a mile-and-a-half of contemporary parks in the heart of Boston. The Greenway is a rooftop garden atop a highway tunnel that connects people and the city with beauty and fun. The non-profit Conservancy maintains, programs, and improves The Greenway on behalf of the public and in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Greenway welcomed 1.2 million visitors in 2015 for The Greenway Carousel, events, Wi-Fi, and Mobile Eats food trucks, plus millions more visitors who enjoyed the fountains, plazas, and gardens. The Conservancy has won numerous awards, including for our organic landscape care and park programming.
Playworld, a division of PlayPower®, Inc., believes The World Needs Play®. Play is vital to everyone’s health and well-being. It’s something you are never too young or too old to enjoy. We develop playground environments where creativity is king, belly laughs are welcome and children make the rules. Playworld equipment is designed to unleash the transformational power of play so bodies grow stronger and imagination can take flight. For 45 years, Playworld has created innovative, inclusive and meaningful outdoor play experiences for all ages and abilities. Come play with us at Playworld.com.
About Design Museum Boston
At Design Museum Boston we believe design can change the world. Done well, it can elevate our quality of life, make businesses more competitive, and protect our environment. Design awareness, education, and expertise are more important now than ever before as design continues to impact communities, organizations, and markets around the world. Design Museum Boston is redefining what it means to be a museum in the 21st century — we're online, nomadic, and accessible to all through a network of exhibitions, events, and content. Our mission: Bring the transformative power of design everywhere, to inspire a world full of creative problem solvers. For more information visit designmuseumfoundation.org