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Play Space design competition sites announced

The Community Design Collaborative and DVAEYC announced the sites that will be the focus of the Play Space design competition this week - a public library, a recreation center, and a school - and challenged interdisciplinary teams to transform them into play spaces that will support healthy childhoods, strong communities, and family friendly cities. Each competition team must choose one of these sites as its focus. 

Want to participate? We encourage you to put together an interdisciplinary team. At least one licensed landscape architect, architect, or civil engineer must be a part of every team. An early childhood educator or childcare provider is strongly recommended. 

You can foster creativity and unique solutions by bringing on people 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.

Registration for the design competition opens September 30, 2015 and closes November 30, 2015. Learn more more about the competition sites and this juried design competition with prizes. When you register, you'll receive in-depth information about your chosen site. 

Here's an introduction to the Play Space design competition sites. Select your site and start building your team!



Learning Landscapes
Free Library of Philadelphia
Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Branch
Cobbs Creek | 5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway

The Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia is one of 25 Carnegie Libraries built in Philadelphia in the early 20th century to open up libraries to communities. Located on a green half-acre site on Baltimore Avenue, the library’s name honors a mother, community activist, and library volunteer who helped teens resist the pressure to join gangs in the ‘80s. The library continues its legacy of community engagement, serving over 49,000 residents in 2014. The addition of an innovative outdoor play space has the potential to expand the library’s capacity to serve as a safe place for education, recreation, entertainment, technology, and community gathering – both inside and out. 

Reclaiming Recreation
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
Waterloo Recreation Center
Norris Square | 2501 Waterloo Street

The Waterloo Recreation Center, a mid-block site cobbled together in 1955 from vacant land and the former Waterloo Street, has more than once been closed due to drug-related crime and vandalism. The resilient community has most recently reclaimed their space through a city council and nonprofit-led effort which has transformed and successfully re-opened the center. An adjacent vacant lot could be used to offer an innovative approach to play and accommodate all generations, enabling the center to bring together the diverse residents of this neighborhood.


Reviving Recess
Philadelphia School District
Haverford Bright Futures
Mill Creek | 4601 Haverford Avenue

Haverford Bright Futures is located in an urban renewal area that lacks the traditional grid and density of the city. Its ample, nearly-two-acre site feels disconnected from the surrounding community. Green, but unstimulating, the site does not reflect the vitality of a Bright Futures preschool program with an international enrollment inside. Each of the four classrooms leads directly outdoors, but the children are greeted by a modest concrete pad and a vast lawn.  Enhancing this site with innovative play opportunities will create a more engaging place for both the children and the community.



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