Playability and the Play Everywhere Challenge

An important part of planning for kid and family friendly cities is access to places for to play.

On April 19, Naudy Martinez with KaBOOM! presented at Tuesdays at APA on the concept of "Transforming Everyday Places for Play." Through the presentation, Martinez emphasized that play spaces can extend beyond parks and playgrounds. Communities can think about designing everyday spaces, including bus stops, sidewalks, and empty lots into areas that allow for play as part of the everyday routine.

Martinez also discussed the concept of "playability" or "the extent to which a city makes it easy for all kids to get balanced and active play."

This week, KaBOOM! is launching the Play Everywhere Challenge, a national competition that will award $1 million in prizes for the best replicable, scalable ideas and community-driven solutions that make cities more playable for kids and families through playful installations in unexpected places, including sidewalks, vacant lots, bus stops, and open streets.

The Play Everywhere Challenge is a year-long competition developed in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Target, Playworld, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts. It's designed to rally cities to put the needs of kids first and ensure their health and success by providing the play they need to thrive — especially for the nearly 13 million kids in cities living in poverty.

About the Author

Anna Read is APA's senior program development and research associate.

Image: Kids at play photo in the public domain.

May 2, 2016

By Anna Read, AICP