Do you ever sit in your office, thinking wistfully of the days when you were a kid and you would run around the playground, playing games and swinging on the swings?
Do you think your audience is thinking the same thing?
Well apparently some folks at Boston’s Convention Center were thinking along those lines because they built a temporary playground for adults on one of their lawns.
The playground is temporary because the convention center plans to expand on to that land in about 18 months. However, it is being used as something of a proof of concept testing ground.
The BCEC, Sasaki and Utile figured, why not test out some concepts for what should be the permanent park, further south on D Street towards residential South Boston?
The playground contains a “set of 20 lighted oval swings, bocce, ping pong, beanbag toss, Adirondack chairs, a sound stage, and open-air bar” and has become wildly popular.
Like the community ovens I wrote about a week or so ago, this is another idea for the type of thing that can be done to increase community engagement.
Now, according to one of the commenters on the article, the playground in Boston cost around $1.1 million which seems a little expensive for a project with an 18 month life span. Though maybe the equipment will migrate to the permanent park.
Many cities are seeing quick pop-up parks appearing on their streets.
The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation in Philadelphia set up an amazing looking pop up park for the summer. It was slated to close September 1 but got extended an entire month due to popular demand.
If you look at the pictures associated with each of the projects, you will see that they run the gamut from ambitiously expensive to simple and versatile.
Pop up events like this can be used to inspire community action as well as a tool for direct engagement. While reading about pop-ups, I learned that a community in Dallas dressed up a street with benches, trees and pop up shops for a day to provide evidence for its potential. (If you are looking to use this for community improvement, check out Better Block.)
One of the commenters on the Boston Convention Center park story shared this video of a fun installation on the streets of Montreal where people generated music as they played on the swings.