Too High, Too Fast, Too Fun: How America Destroyed The Epic Playgrounds...And How We Can Build Them Back Up

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<ul><li>1.Too High, Too Fast, Too Fun How America Destroyed the Epic PlaygroundsAnd how we can build them back up.</li></ul> <p>2. Theplaygroundisamicrocosmofeverythingwe are.Dierentraces,dierentreligions,dierent socio-economicbackgroundsallconvergeinthe sameplacewithsamegoaltohaveagood?me. 3. In just 20 years, we went from this Butwhilethesheernumberofplaygroundshaveincreasedin America,theirexcitementfactorhasdroppeddrama?cally.It'sno accidentthatthisdropinfunfactorcoincideswiththefaEeningof America'schildren. In20years,Wevegonefromthis 4. To ThisTothis From1980to2010,obesityinchildren6-11wentfrom6.5%to 19.6%.Teenageobesitywentfrom5%to18.1%. TherearemanyfactorsaEributedtothisnumber,butthelossofthe epicplaygrounds--Torndownanddemolishedduetoneglect,lackof imagina?on,andoverprotec?vesafetylaws--haveplayedabigpart. Howdidwegettothispoint?Let'sgobacktothestart. 5. America,Late1800s 1880.Americaisinthemiddleoftheindustrialrevolu?on. Inurbancenters,peoplearelivingincrampedquarters. In1900,1.7millionchildrenworkedinfactoriesworkingon average12hourdays. TheMachineAge,muchliketheInternetAge,isturningthe childrenintopastymush. 6. sand AwomannamedDr.MarieZakrewskatookatripto Germany,andsawkidsfromallsortsofeconomic backgroundsallplayinginthesameplotofsand. 7. sand Soin1885,TheMassachuseEsEmergencyand HygieneAssocia?on(MEHA)wheeledagiantpileof sandtoachurchyardintheNorthEndofBoston. 8. AmericasFirstPlayground Boston,1885 1880s Here'sapileofsound.Gonuts.Likeproper Bostonians,theycalledtotheirpileofsandasthe SandGarden.AndBostonwentontoinstall11 moreofthesesandgardensforimmigrantchildren, eventuallychangingthenamefromsandgarden toplayground. 9. FirstPlaygroundEquipment Chicago,Ill. 1890s In1889,Charlesbankgymnasium introducedtheideaof playgroundequipment.Twopole ladders,yingrings,hanging ropes.Allforkids.NYbuiltonein 1890attheUniversitySeElement inLowerEastSide.Chicagobuilt thisonein1894atHullHouse. 10. LowerEast Side,1903 In1903,NYCopenedSewardPark intheLowerEastSide. Onopeningday,thepent-upneed exploded,and20,000kidscaused anearriotastheyrushedtoplay ontheirnewplayground. 11. Boston,1909 1900s In1904,LosAngelesbuilta playgroundonVioletStreet,and createdthena?onsrstPlayground Department.35ci?eshad playgroundsby1905.ThePlayground Associa?onofAmericawas established,withhonorarypresident andvicepresidentTeddyRoosevelt andJacobRiis. 12. Na?onalRecrea?onAssocia?on Established Regardedplayasafundamentalurgein humanexistence,scarcelylesspowerfuland importantthantheurgesofphysicalhunger andsex. 1910s Sowehavephysicalhunger,sex,thenplayas themostimportanturgesinhumanexistence. Breathing?Mustbefourth. 13. Therst JungleGym Winnetaka,Ill., 1920 1920s TheJunglegymwasinventedin1920bySebas?anHintonin Winneteka,NorthofChicago,whoclaimedthecontrap?on appealedtothe"monkeyins?nct"inchildren.Ironically,hewasa lawyer.Itwasreplicatedinplaygroundsacrossthecountry. NYhadmorethan800junglegymsalone. Theoriginaliss?llstanding. 14. TheReallyTallSlide Childrenneedtoencounterrisksandovercomefears ontheplayground,saidEllenSandseter,aprofessorof psychologyatQueenMaudUniversityinNorway. Climbingequipmentneedstobehighenough,orelseit willbetooboringinthelongrun,Dr.Sandsetersaid 15. 1924 TheGirlsNeedto Play,Too 1920s Playgroundandrecrea?onwereessen?alforthenewimmigrantsofAmerica.Theymainly focusedontheboys,crea?nggoodnewci?zens.Butthegirlswerealsoaconcern. The...girllivingintenementsandworkingintheshopisnervously?redatendofday, homeisunaErac?veShegoesoutontothestreetandtothecheaptheater,whose standardshepossibleadoptsbecauseshehasnoneofherown,orelseshegoestothe dancehalls.Hervitalityisatalowebb.[Authorsemphasis]Shetakesherrstdrink,which theboyinordertoshowhisgallantrypressesuponher,andsoshetakesherrst downwardstep. 16. Inthe1920s, Americawent towar.And duringthe dras,25 percentofthe youngmen selectedwere deemedunt 1920s FINDIMAGEOFWW1 [W]ehaveseenfortherst?methena?onschild,measured,weighedand foundwan?ng...saidtheNa?onalFedera?onofSeElements.(Studyof YoungGirls,ca1921)Youngmenweredescribedasincapableofeec?ve service,andthatata?mewhenciviliza?onhunginthebalance.(Lies,1926) Thenthedepressioncame. 17. Duringthedepression,TheWPAPicked UptheSlack,andBuilt13,000 PlaygroundsAcrosstheCountry. Aserthecrashof1929,therewasntalotof moneyoa?ngaroundforthingslike playgrounds,butwhentheWPAwas established,itcreated13,000playgroundsin it'srstveyears. 18. ButfortheNewGenera?onofAmericanKids,the PlaygroundsTheyBuiltwereBoring 1940s Buteventhoughwewerebuildingalotmore playgrounds,andtheyhadmoreclimbingand athle?celements,thekidswerechanging.Kids didntwantsupervision,andtheydidntwant justswingsslidesandclimbing.Theywanted somethingmore. 19. EnterAdventurePlaygrounds 1940 In1943,Danishlandscape architectC.Th.Srensenno?ced kidslikedplayinginjunkand burnedoutbuildingsfromthe warmorethanthestandard playgroundequipment. 20. Kidsplayinginbombsitesand burnedoutbuildingscrea?ng theirownworlds.Sowhynot createasafeplacemimicking thatexperience? 21. Kidswouldusetheirimagina?onsalong withtheirbodies,andcreatesomereally greatadventures. 22. Abstract1950sThatwasgoingoninEurope.InAmerica, thingsweregevngartsy.1953,acompany calledCrea?vePlaythingsstartedanoshoot calledPlaySculptures,usingar?stsas designers. 23. The Art world starts to notice playgrounds 1950s 24. GarnerandKetchamdesignedtherst popularcharacterthemedplayground,the DennisTheMenaceplayground,in Monterey,Californiain1952 25. 1952 Monterey Park, California Dennisthe Menace Playground. 1950s Itincludedsome veryinteres?ng ridesoneof whichkids referredtoas thespinning craneofdeath 26. Ithasitsownfacebook fanpagebutithas 7,000fans.Andthey rememberthespinning craneofdeath! 27. Inthe1960s,thespaceracestarts,andwestartreachingfor thestars.WaltDisneyhadtheconceptofTheWeenie, whichdrawskidsyouintothepark.Thatiswhatthesedid. Insteadofbuildingastatue,putmoneyintoathemed environmentthatcommemoratesthepersonortheact,but givesbacktothechildrenofthecommunitywhatagreat idea! 28. LaLaguna,San Gabriel,1965 1960s Inthe1960s,truethemingreally begins.ThisoneinCalifornia,by Mexicanar?stBenjaminDominguez, wasmadeofconcreteandhada greatnau?caltheme. 29. NewYorkCity,1967 1960s NYCsAncientPlayground1967 designedbyRichardDaEnerin CentralPark,whichwasbasedonthe themeofancientEgypt.Itwasa directresponseinNYtotheboring, regimentedparksthatRobertMoses builtintheearlierera. 30. The 1970s Itsabouttogetfunky. The Golden Age of Playgrounds 31. ThisisfromacompanycalledGame Time,outofLitcheld,Michigan.Ithink GeneRoddenberrymighthave somethingtosayaboutthedesign,butI wouldsowanttoplaythere. 32. LaCienegaand Olympic,1975 1970s FromMiracleandJamisonin GrinnelIowa. AGigantaactuallystoodat LaCienegaandOlympicin LosAngeles. 33. 1970s GameTime.TheMarkIV Satellitetowerisjustan explosionofcolor. 34. Thepeople loveit! 1970s AnotherfromMiracaleand Jamison.IdeallyTrouble Free.Aquotefromthe directorofparksatBrooklyn Park,Minnesota,discussing thegreatfeedbacktheAstro CityhasgoEen. 35. Slideclose-up 36. 1970s The70s!Idontknow howmuchfunthere are,buttheylook amazing. 37. 1980s Thenthelawyerstookover. MassTortLawsuitsagainstAsbetos,Formaldehyde,cars,theDalkin ShieldAmericafellinlovewithLawsuitsinthe1980s.--Andonthe playground,climbing--Climbing,heights,wasthebiggesttarget.But climbinggivespeople,especiallykids,ahuge,perhapsbiggestsense ofaccomplishment.Childrenneedtoencounterrisksand overcomefearsontheplayground,saidEllenSandseter,a professorofpsychologyatQueenMaudUniversityinNorway. 38. SewardParkIn1903,20,000Kids RiotFortheRighttoPlay RememberSewardParkin NewYork,where20,000 kidscausedanearriotfor theirrighttoplay? 39. SewardParkPlaygroundToday Thisiswhatitlookslike today. 40. Allbeingtorndown. 41. Allbeingtorn down. 42. Do not play on or around Kidsneedtoconquerfear--Ifyousuerafall beforeageof9,youactuallyhavelessofafearof heights.Theneedtoassessrisk.Theyhavebeen doingitforthousandsofyears.Andweare stun?ngthem.Thisonewasturnedintoart project. 43. Therearemanyelements thataddtothis:The sedentarynatureofTV watchingandvideogame playing,largepor?ons andfaEyfoods.Butthe lackoffunplaygrounds hasplayedapart. Wehavetradedthe threatoflawsuitsfor obesechildren.Traded videogamesforhigher healthcarebills. 44. It is up to us to create the playgrounds of the futureto merge art, play, social and digital to build the next generation of neighborhood play places. ButIt'sbeyondthat.Theideathatchildrencanplayoutside,canwonder, andanddreaminthephysicalworld.Eventhoughwearecrea?ngfantasy worlds,theyarefarmorerealthattheworldsofWarcras,Wizards101, andeverythingelsethechildrenareplayingintoday. Thereisaveryedglingmovementofbuildingplaygroundskidswantto actuallyplayin. 45. Thisoneinthe Netherlands--Itslike somethingrightoutofa TimBurtonMovie 46. ThePeterPanparkinKensington GardensLondonisagreatof exampleofaparkkidsbegtogo to--Giantpirateship,teepees, waterfeatures,ropeclimbs. 47. Budapest,Hungary 48. IlovethisoneinAlameda, evenifitisaliEleoverboard. Seetheguyinthecar?Thatsa securityguard.Theslideisso fast,itneedsitsownsecurity guard.Iappreciatetheeort. 49. . DualslidesinMontogomary, PAthiswasbuilttohonora motherandchildwhowere murderedinthetown 50. TomOEernesses BronzeGuyshows thecrosssec?onofart andfun 51. DavidRockwell,themanwhocreatedNobuand theMoheganSun,raised2milliondollarsin privatefundstobuildacollabora?veplayarea inNewYork'ssouthstreetseaport.Climbing nets,bigsandbox,pulleysandpulls.Kidswork togethertogettasksdone.Excellent,but 52. It'salsoveryexpensive,sincethe parkemploys"playassociates,"tohelp kidsplayandkeepthemsafe. Whichyoucandointhemost expensivecityinthecountry,butwont playinPeoria. 53. Paris GiantslideinParis 54. Pirateshipwreckpark inAustralia 55. Averyold-schoolAdventure PlaygroundinBerkeley,Cal.There are1,000adventureplaygrounds inEurope.Thereareonly3lesin theUnitedStates. 56. Not Just for the Kids WaltDisneyconceivedofDisneyland becausehewassickoftakinghistwo liElegirlstothemerrygoround,whilehe satonabenchandfedpeanutsto squirrels.Hewantedtojoininthefun. Adult-sizedplaygroundsareequally important. 57. Wecanbuildthese,andgetthekids backoutthere. Andmakeplaygroundsthatbothadultsand childrencanplayon. 58. Slide BillyJensen Ifyouwanttojointhefun:@Billyjensen ------------ 59. Kidswholiveahalfmilefromaplayground arenearlyve?mesmorelikelytobea healthyweightthankidswithoutaplayground orparkintheirneighborhood. October2008issueofthe"American JournalofPublicHealth" </p>