Friday 20 May 2011

Playing Out

Playing Out is a project in Bristol in the UK which closes streets so that children can play. It's a great idea, illustrating the loss in freedom of children at the same time as giving a chance for proper outdoor play, even if only occasionally and not with a permanent change to the streets.

I quite often cover the rights of children playing in the street.

Dutch woonerven ("Home Zones") are similar in concept to "Play Streets" which used to exist in the UK, but the concept seems to have been forgotten.

It's worth bearing in mind that the turnaround in prospects for Dutch cyclists, adults as well as children, came about in large part because of looking at improving conditions for children. There are far more parents than "cyclists" in the UK. They're a much more powerful lobby group, and no-one can argue that the rights of children are unimportant.

The Netherlands also has an organisation which organises play in the streets. The Buitenspeeldag - Outside play day is on the 1st of June this year, and many streets across the country will be closed completely for play.

I came across this via Mark at IBikeLondon.


Anneke said...

Parents (and other people, but in practice it's mostly parents) can also proclaim any day play-on-the-street-day. They must ask a permit at the muncipal office to close their street, and then do so. In my street there are at least two such days a year. Not only fun for kids, also great to get to know your neighbours.

Anonymous said...

This is a quietly inspirational project, and the idea deserves to go global. David - great stuff here, which I am sorry I have only just found. You may find my work of interest - eg I wrote a policy report on children & cycling in 2005. Tim Gill.

Joe D said...

"and no-one can argue that the rights of children are unimportant."

Never underestimate the Association of British Drivers: