America’s children are playing less today than any previous generation, and only one in four children gets the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
Responding to this trend, many communities have made it a priority to give kids and families better access to balanced and active play. Just building playgrounds or parks doesn’t ensure that children will play. Cities need to create scalable solutions and inspire their communities to make changes in attitudes and behavior too. For cities to thrive and grow, they need to attract and retain residents and families who will breathe energy into their communities.
A national non-profit organization called KaBOOM! is dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids. Since 1996, they have helped communities build or improve over 16,000 playgrounds. In fact, they even coined “playability” as a word in 2014 to easily explain their core mission:
KaBOOM! has also studied the economics of playability and feel that play can be a competitive advantage for cities who embrace the mission. This short video from KaBOOM! demonstrates the economics of play:
Every year, KaBOOM! joins forces with The Humana Foundation to honor communities that have taken play to the next level with a Playful City USA award. The Playful City USA award recognizes communities that have demonstrated a strong commitment to the cause of play and have created policies and programs to make play a priority. In 2015, they honored 241 cities with a Playful City USA award.
Since we are in the business of helping communities serve, represent and delight their citizens, we were pleased to discover that twenty of our customers earned this award in 2015. We want to congratulate all of the honorees in 2015, especially the following communities:
- Arizona – Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe
- California – Claremont, Costa Mesa, Encinitas, Glendora, Novato, and San Francisco
- Florida – Fort Lauderdale, Kissimmee, Lauderhill, North Port, Palm Bay, Pinecrest and Sunrise
- Georgia – Atlanta
- Iowa – Ankeny
- Texas – Grand Prairie
Winners of the Playful City USA designation receive two Playful City USA highway road signs, marketing materials to increase awareness and opportunities to apply for grants. More importantly, they demonstrate to their communities that they are dedicated to serving their community, building up the community’s reputation as a great place to live and delighting their citizens with innovative solutions. Congratulations again to all 2015 Playful City USA honorees.
At Vision, we specialize in helping agencies research and implement user-focused improvements, and are always happy to discuss your particular needs. Request a free consultation now.