Two streets in Sydney’s inner west will be chosen to test the concept of “play streets” later this year.
This would involve the streets being fully or partially closed to through-traffic for two to three hours on a Sunday afternoon, allowing children in the street to play outdoor games.
With more families and children living in high-density areas of the inner city, the Inner West Council decided to revive street play as a way to get children outside and away from technology, improve their health and create more of a sense of community.
According to Inner West Council councilor Anna York, play streets could be a small solution for families with little or no backyard, and parents who are trying to get their children away from technology.
“The idea of ‘play streets’ is to give our kids a taste of the kind of play we remember from our childhoods – by providing a safe and fun outdoor play space for kids in a home environment – right outside the front door,” she tells Sydney Morning Herald.
This trial is reminiscent of other similar programs that have been put in place in Britain and the US as part of a global movement to afford children safe spaces for outdoor play.
The council has asked residents to suggest appropriate streets for the trial, with the main criteria being that the street must be more than 400 metres “easy walking distance” from a park or open space. Around 30 locations have already been suggested.