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Design Competition

Team up for a design competition—with prizes—to design innovative outdoor play spaces for a Philly public school, library, and recreation center.

The Community Design Collaborative and Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC) are hosting an interdisciplinary design competition promoting innovative outdoor play spaces for Philadelphia and other cities. We’re inviting teams to create plans for an outdoor play space at one of three public sites —a school, a library, and a recreation center.

The power of play space in the community and its impact on early childhood development cannot be underestimated. Play Space is rooted in the concept that urban play space is an unexpected contributor to solving some of the city’s most critical challenges.  These spaces strengthen the fabric of neighborhoods and can help improve early learning skills, imagination, independence, and health outcomes for children and also provide a venue to build strong interpersonal relationships, leading to strong communities and family friendly cities.

Many child care centers and schools in Philadelphia have limited access to outdoor play space, and those that do often fall short of being rich environments for learning and play. Each of the competition sites presents unique challenges and great opportunity – they are in areas with high populations of young children living nearby as well as nearby childcare providers that could take advantage of improved play spaces.

Collaboration is encouraged, and multidisciplinary, integrated teams must have at least one licensed landscape architect, architect, or civil engineer. An early childhood educator or childcare provider is strongly recommended. In addition, we encourage teams to foster creativity and unique solutions by including team members with expertise in playground design, urban design, environmental design, sustainable design, stormwater management, cost estimation, implementation, child development, play, recreation therapy, nature play, environmental education, public policy, public health, community advocacy, or families who use child care. 


SEPTEMBER 30, 2015 | Registration opens
NOVEMBER 30, 2015 | Registration closes at midnight EST
JANUARY 22, 2016 | Competition entry submissions due
FEBRUARY 8, 2016 | Expert jury review
FEBRUARY 15, 2016 | Finalists notification
MARCH 16, 2016 | Infill Philadelphia: Play Space Design Awards event




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