A playful city is a sustainable city. Play is vital to human development and is a necessary fixture of daily life. In fact, qualities of playfulness should merit attention equal to that of sustainability in terms of urban design and development. A playful city can be envisioned as a system of spaces or open-ended moments that exist to support exploration and movement within urban life.
In contemporary society, more and more city dwellers in increasingly dense urban areas have little or no contact with the power of play in their daily lives. Poorly designed urban spaces, the busy pace of modern living, and the trend towards ubiquitous digital entertainment have further exacerbated this issue. Many people, especially children, tend to spend less and less time outdoors engaged in joyful play.
This design proposal is aimed at reinvigorating our common bond with the wider biological community by advocating for urban spaces where children — and adults — are free to interact with nature and to explore the environment through intentionally designed but mutable and shifting play experiences.
A playful city can be envisioned as a system of spaces or open-ended moments that exist to support exploration and movement within urban life.
Based in L.A.’s unique setting with strict development restrictions, this proposal explores innovative and ecological design opportunities that incorporate both “wild” and “adventure” play spaces into our urban condition at the wildland urban interface.
The proposal defines a kit of play elements to engage both different age groups and various spaces in the urban environment. A book summarizing the project seeks to educate about the importance of play and how it has evolved through time. Planned outreach with public transit agencies is geared towards building partnerships that investigate how to utilize easements and right-of-ways as future playgrounds. With the goal of advocating for the realization and implementation of play components by the community, renderings, and models demonstrate the applications.