The playground group Kaboom! released a report earlier this month featuring 12 best practices in play from across the country. Entitled Play Matters, the report describes successful local initiatives to improve opportunities for play and draws conclusions about why they have worked. The group aimed to address three issues: 1) increasing the quantity of available play spaces and play opportunities; 2) improving the quality of spaces and experiences; and 3) increasing safe access to play. It also provides a summary of information linking play initiatives to positive outcomes in health, education, the environment and the economy.
Some of the case studies included are the schoolyard-to-park initiative in Denver called Learning Landscapes; the ParkScan project of San Francisco’s Neighborhood Parks Council (that tracks maintenance through an innovative web tool); and how the High Point housing redevelopment in Seattle incorporated play by adding parks, playgrounds and trails. All of these are great case studies and are worth a read through.