2018 National Planning Conference

Planning for Play in Public Spaces

Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 4:15 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. CDT

Location: R03

CM | 1.25

Cost: Included in Registration

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC188168


  • Define the benefits of as well as support and advocate for the development of green schoolyards from a planning perspective.
  • Learn how creative financing, together with equity mapping, can increase access to nature and play-through programs like Austin’s Green School Parks.
  • Plan and design equitable, urban play spaces with kids in mind, and replicate concrete examples and ideas of play everywhere.


Public spaces can and should be designed for children with community input to ensure that their greatest potential for health, learning, and joy are realized. Through changes in planning and infrastructure, along with the right programming, we can create places that nourish kids and adults alike. This session will review two new strategies - Green Schoolyards and Play Everywhere – to engage kids, communities, and planners in rethinking how we design urban environments. Green Schoolyards – a movement led by the Children and Nature Network – involve much more than planting grass or putting in gardens; learn why they matter and how to pay for them. Hear how Austin’s school district worked with the Parks and Recreation department to develop Green School Parks, a shared-use program supported through creative financing, and prioritized implementation through equity mapping. Finally, learn about KaBOOM!, a program to spread the integration of play into everyday spaces; this national nonprofit, dedicated to giving all kids a childhood filled with balanced, active play, has worked with cities through initiatives like Play Everywhere to help make play the easy choice. This kind of kid-and family-friendly urban design provides equitable “playability” for all kids – anywhere and everywhere.

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Session Speakers

Hayden Brooks
Austin, TX

Priya Madrecki
Washington, DC

Jaime Zaplatosch
Children & Nature Network
Berwyn, IL

Lynn M. Ross, AICP
Spirit for Change Consulting, LLC
Miami Beach, FL

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