other play streets
Play Streets are already happening in numerous cities worldwide, including Seattle, Chicago, New York, and the United Kingdom, just to name a few. Over 300 streets have been temporarily closed over the past years in England as well as in Seattle and the idea has also spread to Canada and Australia. Tosa is next!
Seattle has successfully been closing streets for play and community for years. Residents say that an unexpected bonus of Play Streets is the increased sense of community that has grown from using the street as a place to gather and play. Their model of resident-run and regulated Play Streets gives the power to the people to create these play and community hot spots!
Chicago has been shutting down various streets since 2012. They have about 90 reoccurring annual individual Play Streets, many in areas with concerns of gang violence. The power and importance of play for children has been deemed more important by the city of Chicago than the potential risks. Play on!
New York City has been shutting down one-way, quiet streets for over 100 years to give children a place to play and to build relationships between kids and the police force. From their webpage:
"100 percent of residents and business owners believe PAL PLAYSTREETS make their communities safer."
One could say that the bustling, busy streets of New York City were the birthplace of this incredible idea.
The UK has Play Streets in many cities such as Bristol, Leeds, Hackney and all throughout London. The University of Bristol’s evaluation of Play England’s Street Play Project found very positive results in health and activity of children as well as increased neighborhood cohesion. You can read the full analysis of their data, as well as information on how they run their program here.