Our work at NYC Play Streets

Play Streets NYCPlay streets are a tradition in New York City. They are exactly what they sound like—streets closed to traffic for play, usually during summer when school is closed. For a time, when we first began working at play streets in 2013, the number of play streets seemed to be growing in NYC, 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 of the city’s summer play streets in favor of more structured and controlled environments. Others have noted this as well. And just like adults, children appear to be spending more of their free time at home in front of screens. Despite this, we want to continue to support play streets because we believe that city children need space for unstructured, spontaneous, voluntary play.

Photos of our work at NYC Play Streets:

Uni Reading Room, East Harlem Play Street

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

Uni Reading Room, West Harlem Play Street

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

Uni Reading Room, Jennings Play Street, Bronx

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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

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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:

Highlights from 2019

Highlights from 2019

Dear Friends, A quick update about what we've been working on, and a thought about where we work—public space. In New York City, public space is often a way to get from point A to point B. Sidewalk means: keep walking, there's someone right behind you here. And it...

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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...

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Creating a place to DRAW together in Times Square

Creating a place to DRAW together in Times Square

Our DRAW program is in the middle of a month-long residency in Times Square. Join us every Wednesday 12-3pm and draw with fellow New Yorkers at an open-air art studio, featuring fine art materials donated by Blick Art Materials and an artist-in-residence. Made...

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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, which was a portable reading room that roamed the city. In 2020, we are re-introducing our original name Street Lab to tie all this work together going forward, with much more to come.