Recreation Management - Ideas and Solutions for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

April 2018


How to Encourage Play—Everywhere!

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

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Parks & Recreation Supports More Than 1.1 Million Jobs - April 2018

Club Pilates Grows With New Training Facility - April 2018

IHRSA Sees Positive Growth for Fitness Pros - April 2018

Denver's Freedom Park Wins Grant for Public Art - March 2018

NSPF, Counsilman-Hunsaker Partner to Create App for Aquatic Facility Managers - March 2018

More Than 330 Million Recreation Visits Recorded in 2017 for National Park System - March 2018

Study Shows Economic Benefits of the Great Outdoors - March 2018

Parks for Inclusion Initiative Aims to Expand Reach to All Americans - February 2018

SHAPE America, NFL & Partners Collaborate on Training for Health & P.E. Educators - February 2018

CPSC Offers $1.1 Million in Pool Safely Grants - February 2018

Bipartisan PHIT Act Could Boost America's Wellness - February 2018

China Plant Shutdowns May Affect Pool Operations & Budgets - January 2018

Arlington County 'Pulls Together' to Remove Invasive Plants - January 2018

Youth Sports Participation Increases for Underserved Kids - January 2018

Study: Physical Activity Boosts Learning Time - January 2018

Preventing Germs in Gyms: What Works? - December 2017

Study: Laws Reduce Recurrent Concussions - December 2017

Grants Awarded for Urban Water & Wildlife Habitat Restoration - December 2017

APSP University Launches New Certification Course - November 2017

New Series Aims to Empower Students With Healthy Habits - November 2017

US Club Soccer Puts Focus on Player Safety - November 2017

New Initiative Aims to Ensure All Have Access to Parks & Rec - November 2017

L.A. Parks Earn Mostly Positive Report Card - October 2017

Health Club Memberships Up, Led by Youth & Older Adults - October 2017

Dallas Park Recognized With ASLA Award - October 2017

Adult Obesity Rates Leveling Off - October 2017

Improving Kids' Wellness—In the Classroom - October 2017

Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Development Continues - September 2017

Louisville Splash 'n' Dash 5K Raises $35,000+ for Norton Children's Hospital - September 2017

Philadelphia Eagles Go Green - September 2017

High School Sports Participation Up, Nearing 8 Million - September 2017

Inside South Side High School's Redevelopment - August 2017

New Health Research Conducted at Special Olympics - August 2017

Protect Players From Heat - August 2017

Tackling the Active Play Deficit - August 2017

Botanical Garden Partners With Businesses on Health - July 2017

Survey Examines Parents' View of Play - July 2017

Kids Swim Free in Tucson This Summer - July 2017

Building Communities to Encourage Physical Activity - June 2017

California Campus Converts Courts to Golf Practice Space - June 2017

Where Are the Nation's Top City Park Systems? - June 2017

KaBOOM! Brings Play to Military Kids - May 2017

USA Basketball Open Court Sessions Get Youths Into the Game - May 2017

Educators Push Legislators to Support Health & Physical Education Programs - May 2017

NFHS Revises Rules for Competitive Spirit Squads - May 2017

Pool & Spa Professionals Fight Immigration Restrictions - April 2017

Grants Available to Boost Dog Parks - April 2017

New Aquatic Management Program Aims to Improve Safety, Efficiency - April 2017

16 Cities Nationwide to Receive Park Improvement Funding - April 2017

By Dave Ramont

KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing all kids—particularly those living in poverty—with safe and engaging places to play, recently compiled the Play Everywhere Playbook, a comprehensive guidebook aimed at assisting cities and neighborhoods with implementing Play Everywhere projects in their communities and neighborhoods. These projects turn under-utilized and everyday spaces into fun community hubs, while encouraging community safety and social interaction.

Focusing on underserved neighborhoods, KaBOOM! has teamed up with nearly 100 cities and organizations over the past three years to transform vacant lots, sidewalks, bus stops, alleys and more into safe play spaces. The Play Everywhere Playbook takes lessons learned from these projects and compiles best practices for communities to locate, design and build kid-friendly destinations.

James Siegal, CEO of KaBOOM!, believes that this is a call to action for all cities to prioritize equitable infrastructure investment that meets the needs of all kids and families. "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," he said.

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." And, coinciding with the Playbook release, Gehl has conducted an evaluation of Play Everywhere projects. Among other findings, they discovered that 90 percent of respondents felt safer from both crime and traffic due to Play Everywhere installations. Additionally, two out of three people met new neighbors at the play spaces, and 70 percent said that the projects increased the amount of play time that their kids engaged in.

Jeff Risom, partner and managing director at Gehl, feels that the KaBOOM! Playbook, building on the findings of the evaluation, provides the steps and tools that city and community leaders need to understand and then incorporate the needs of kids into city design. "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."

Some of the things covered in the Playbook include Fundamentals: principals that define what can make a space a play space. Design Guides can help communities discover which everyday spaces can offer opportunities for play. The Evaluation Report details the impact Play Everywhere projects have on communities. And the many Case Studies showcase various ways that communities have embraced Play Everywhere. For example, five Miami districts transformed dead-end streets into unique kid-friendly play spaces. In Houston, playful additions were made to the Oxford Place apartments, setting the standard for making play a priority in public housing communities. And at the public transit center in Lexington, Ky., kids and families can enjoy delightful mini-installations while they wait for their rides.

Information on the Play Everywhere Playbook can be found at kaboom.org.


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