Thanks Inhabitat for featuring this great story about reclaiming unused public space and making it more playful:
Berlin’s Spreepark Planterwald amusement park, also called Kulturpark, has been abandoned since 2001, but this summer several curators took over the overgrown park and transformed it into a big, interactive art installation. The park reopened at the end of June, letting visitors tour the ruins and witness nature’s takeover of the Soviet-era amusement park. Inhabitat was on hand to check out the park and explore the art installations at the perimeter of the park.
For ambitious curators, Anthony Spinello, George Scheer, Stephanie Sherman and Agustina Woodgate (an Inhabitat favorite) were stationed at Kulturpark for the summer, organizing site-specific installations around the park, as well as artistic programming to engage the community once again with this abandoned place. With help from the curators, the fate of the park, which goes up for auction next year, may veer toward a place for public consumption, and hopefully create a place for the public to enjoy the grounds and non-profits to conduct cultural programming for the community.
Poor children in coastal India are encouraged to play games as a way to bring sportsmanship and structure into their lives.
All of these great ideas and more are captured on the Play theme page of the TED City2.0 project.
I think people often think of play as done out in the woods or on playgrounds, and often forget that cities can contain all the resources needed for play. Just look at parkour or buildering or urban mountain biking, or even yarn bombing. That said, it is absolutely crucial to allow people to play in cities and to create spaces dedicated entirely to play, as much for grown-ups as for kids.
What other projects promoting play in the city are you aware of? Let me know in the comments below.