Our work at NYC Play Streets

Play Streets NYCPlay streets are a long-standing tradition in New York City where streets are closed to traffic for play, usually during summer when school is closed. We began working at play streets in 2013, and their number appeared to be growing, thanks to support from the city’s health department and work by Transportation Alternatives. However in recent years, we’ve witnessed the closing of many play streets in favor of more structured and controlled environments, a pattern noted by others as well. We’ve also observed that children appear to be spending more of their free time at home in front of screens. In 2020, we plan to increase our support to play streets that are bucking this trend. We believe that city children need space for unstructured, spontaneous, voluntary play. We also believe that creative use of NYC streets can play a role in supporting underserved neighborhoods and at-risk NYC kids.

Got a play street in your neighborhood? Let's work together.

Photos of our work at NYC Play Streets:

Uni Reading Room, East Harlem Play Street

eharlem10

See gallery of photos of Uni reading room, E104th St, East Harlem, July and August, 2014.

Uni Reading Room, West Harlem Play Street

wharlem3

See gallery of photos of Uni reading room, W136th St, West Harlem, July and August, 2014.

Uni Reading Room, Jennings Play Street, Bronx

jennings39

See gallery of photos of Uni reading room, Jennings St, Bronx, NY, July and August, 2014.

Uni Reading Room, Rivera Ave Play Street, Bronx

Uni Rivera Ave Bronx

See gallery of photos of Uni reading room, Rivera Ave, Bronx, NY, July and August, 2014.

Uni Reading Room, Irving Play Street, Bronx

Irving5

See gallery of photos of Uni reading room, Irving Street, Brooklyn, NY, July and August, 2014.

Uni Reading Room, Forest Ave Play Street, Bronx

Uni Forest Ave

See gallery of photos of Uni reading room, Forest Ave, Bronx, NY, July and August, 2014.

Blog posts about our work at NYC Play Streets:

Making a place for learning at NYCHA public housing

Making a place for learning at NYCHA public housing

Many NYC kids who live in low-income neighborhoods report that there is little to do over the summer, especially when camps and cultural institutions are out of reach. To help fix that, for six weeks this summer, we created a safe place to hang out and learn next to...

read more
Making a place for learning at NYC summer play streets

Making a place for learning at NYC summer play streets

The Uni Project has brought learning to NYC play streets since 2013, and this year we deployed our newest program BUILD NYC to play streets at Butler and Forest Houses (NYCHA) hosted by the Police Athletic League (PAL). One of our goals was to work with play street...

read more
Closing out summer play streets in the Bronx

Closing out summer play streets in the Bronx

Today, the Uni Project wrapped up a month-long series at NYC Play Streets. Over the past four weeks, we brought our program BUILD NYC to play streets at Butler and Forest Houses (NYCHA), hosted by the Police Athletic League (PAL). Made possible in part...

read more

About our “new” name… Street Lab.

Street Lab began in Boston in 2006. In 2011, we moved the organization to NYC and launched the Uni Project—a portable reading room for public space. In 2020, we are re-introducing our original name Street Lab to tie all of our work together going forward, with much more to come.