How the latest playgrounds are making child’s play fun again
Since the 1970s, the playground has been a battlefield for this epic conflict: the best ideas of public health and safety engineering against the entropic impulses of children themselves. Parks and schools – driven by worries about injury and concerns about maintenance – have aggressively purged playgrounds of danger, and of life.
This has begun to change. A new generation of playgrounds allows kids to interact with nature , to manipulate objects as they play imaginatively, and even to experience some physical risk. This reflects a cultural shift in North America, in how we approach public space and, incrementally, how we worry about our children.