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Playable Streets

11:55 AM EST on January 10, 2007

The New York Times has a story today about efforts underway to develop a creative new playground near the South Street Seaport. The city has been working with David
Rockwell interior designer for Nobu and the Mohegan Sun Casino, on a playground that eschews traditional playground aparati in favor of foam blocks,
water, cardboard tubes, burlap bags, ramps, climbing nets and, most interesting, "play workers" to attend to the facility and guide kids through it. Gothamist, as always, provides a nice synposis. 

The story will certainly spark all kinds of discussion and it reminded me of an innovative "playground concept" that I stumbled upon during my recent German Marshall Fellowship trip to Copenhagen. There, in the the busy city center, is a playground built right in the middle of a city street. Instead of parked cars and slow-moving, honking, exhaust-spewing traffic, this city street offers sandbox, slide, play house and benches. Forget "livable streets," this street is "playable."

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