Green Futures Design and Research Lab

Urban Play Handbook

Play brings people together, stimulates creativity, alleviates stress, and cultivates delight to both the participant and the viewer. Play can also break down social barriers that often prevent diverse groups from interacting and equitably sharing public space. Therefore, providing opportunities for play in the urban public realm is an essential tactic for creating lively, just and convivial community spaces that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and walks of life. Taking this view, the Urban Play Handbook was conceived to assist and inspire the urban designer, civic leader and citizen activist to invent playful places and to integrate opportunities for interactive play into the public spaces of our cities.

Developed by interns Jonathan Konkol and Sara Hakanson, the guide has been carefully researched to provide a framework for thinking about how and where we can integrate play into urban design practices, drawing from examples across the globe. Their sensibilities were particularly informed by living and working for a term in Copenhagen, Denmark, a city that exemplifies incorporation of play into public spaces. The Green Futures Lab is pleased to sponsor and distribute this guide, with profound thanks to the ScanlDesign Foundation for funding the internships and publication, to Jennifer Wieland and her team in Seattleā€™s Public Space Program for their advisement, and to Sara and Jonathan for their thoughtful, creative and playful approach to preparing this urban design guide.