In most countries in the world, play in city streets is prohibited. But there is a movement to get children out on streets in their neighbourhoods to create child-friendly, sustainable cities. Earth Day Canada’s StreetPLAY pilot project was informed by similar programs happening in these cities:
Dans ma rue, on joue – Beleoil, Quebec
Beleoil’s pilot project launched in April, 2016, allowing children to play between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. in residential streets that have been designated safe by the city.
Three reports were published in 2017 on the street play phenomenon that has been growing across the U.K. The first was an evaluation report by the University of Bristol, published by Play England, which looks at the health outcomes for children.
The second was a report from Playing Out, the Bristol-based national hub for street play, including results from a survey of people directly involved in street play sessions.
The third report was written by play advocate Tim Gill and published by Play England, and explores the issues around taking street play initiatives forward in disadvantaged areas.
In Toronto, Ryerson University has been undertaking a research study alongside Earth Day Canada’s Toronto StreetPLAY Pilot Project to determine:
- Does StreetPLAY bring kids out to play?
- Is the play of good value and is it inclusive?
- Does StreetPLAY encourage community building?
- How does StreetPLAY accommodate local commuting needs?