If Kids Built a City

Possibilities For Play in Pittsburgh, PA

Play takes many forms. Play can enliven our bodies through physical activity. Play can challenge our minds through puzzles and games. Play can be imaginative, like playing make believe. Play can be a creative expression, like making art or creating costumes. Play can be something we do by ourselves or in groups. In this book, we consider any activity that people choose to do simply for the joy it brings them to be a form of play.

Despite these benefits—and not to mention the pure joy it brings into our lives—play is often neglected in modern life. Studies have shown that the time children spend playing has decreased by as much as 25% in recent decades. And us adults are finding even less time for play in our lives. We’re missing out on the power of play, both as individuals who thrive through playful interaction and as a society seeking greater harmony. A community that is fun and safe for children is better for everyone: families, older adults, people with disabilities, visitors, longtime residents, and anyone seeking the simple joys of play. As we reimagine and rebuild our communities to accommodate a rapidly urbanizing world in which a majority of city dwellers will be children, how can we build cities that work for kids?

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