PlayStreets: Repurposing Streets for Play

Thursday October 29, 2:15 – 3:45pm

PlayStreets is an initiative that reclaims and redefines public space by temporarily closing streets to auto traffic and creating ‘pop-up play spaces’ for youth and adults. In the same way that Open Streets events advance the walking environment, PlayStreets changes the conversation around what streets should be used for, and who they should primarily serve. By literally letting kids ‘play in the street’, this initiative helps shift the paradigm that defines streets as car-only spaces that are hostile to pedestrians, and allows residents to experience them as valuable public places that can enhance rather than detract from community livability.

In this session, you will learn about: the history of PlayStreets; the recent renaissance of the PlayStreets movement in places including Chicago and Seattle; different models of PlayStreets programs; and lessons learned from practitioners. This session will also include interactive demonstrations of group play activities that are appropriate for a ‘street’ setting.

Join us for this vibrant workshop!

Moderator: Surili Patel, Senior Program Manager, Environmental Health, Center for Public Health Policy , American Public Health Association


  • Melody Geraci, Deputy Executive Director, Active Transportation Alliance
  • Seth Geiser, Public Space Specialist, Street Use, City of Seattle Department of Transportation
  • Bryan McCormick, New England Account Manager, Playworks