Designing the spaces of the future for Philly's kids

"Many of us give little thought to how the built environment can benefit children's growth and play, but the latest iteration of the Community Design Collaborative’s InFill Philadelphia design initiative, launched in 2007, is focusing on the cutting edge in playgrounds.

Previous InFill programs have focused on repurposing industrial sites, improving food access, building commercial corridors and stormwater management (via a Philadelphia Water Department partnership called Soak It Up). According to the Collaborative, their latest program -- dubbed Play Space and funded through the William Penn Foundation -- will "promote dialogue between designers, child care providers, child care families, educators and community members" on the important role of play space design in early childhood learning.

"How We Play," a special exhibition of top playspace concepts from across the world will kick off the initiative. A display of international best practices in the design of temporary and permanent outdoor play spaces for children, the show is happening in partnership with the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children. Featuring over forty concepts, the exhibition is currently being installed and will run from August 5 through September 25 at the Collaborative’s Arch Street headquarters.

"There are other ways of thinking about a playspace beyond the normal playground equipment," explains Collaborative program manager for Play Space Alexa Bosse, and the U.S. has some catching up to do on this concept...."

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