Placemaking Week 2024
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Thursday, June 6 • 2:30pm - 3:45pm
PANEL: Built to Play: Scaling Play Infrastructure at the Regional Scale

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Play is the most important thing a kid can do and lays the foundation for healthy child development, bringing benefits far beyond the swingset. But due to a shortage of places where they can engage in non structured play, fewer kids than ever — especially those living in lower-income, rural, and Black and Brown communities have a chance to join in the fun.  A monumental effort to expand access to spaces that stimulate free play for kids, Built to Play — with funding support from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and operational support from KABOOM! and The Skatepark Project — has led to the creation of 90+ play spaces and skateparks across Western New York and Southeast Michigan since 2018. Gehl conducted a multi-method impact assessment of the Built to Play portfolio, revealing how five years into its creation, the Built to Play program is already demonstrating how play does much more than entertain kids.  Join this panel discussion with representatives from Gehl, Kaboom!, The Skatepark Project, and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to hear the lessons learned that Built to Play projects have to offer future play space and skatepark advocates, funders, and organizers, no matter what stage they’re in: setting up a similar program, building the case for play, finding funding, designing the site, building it, operating it, and monitoring and adapting over time. Ample cases from this study reveal how play is a unique platform for connecting people, places, communities, and systems. Now is as pivotal a time as ever to seize the potential of play — and we all have a role to play. What will yours be?

avatar for Kari Pardoe

Kari Pardoe

Program Officer, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
avatar for Alex Allen

Alex Allen

President & CEO, Chandler Park Conservancy
avatar for Carrie Leovy

Carrie Leovy

Senior Strategist, Partnership Development, KABOOM!
avatar for Trevor Staples

Trevor Staples

Director of Grants and Skatepark Development, The Skatepark Project
avatar for Eamon O'Connor

Eamon O'Connor

Associate, Gehl

Thursday June 6, 2024 2:30pm - 3:45pm EDT
Parkway Theatre, Theatre 3