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

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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, Brooklyn

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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:

Activating an Open Street in East Harlem

Activating an Open Street in East Harlem

Today Street Lab went to East Harlem to join our friends at Uptown Grand Central to: activate an Open Street, provide a place for community, and encourage passersby to support local restaurants. We brought PLAY NYC, our program for safe, hands-free play on streets,...

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Have fun, stay safe—new signage for PLAY NYC

Have fun, stay safe—new signage for PLAY NYC

Here's a preview of new signage for PLAY NYC, which hits the streets tomorrow, starting a four week run across New York City. Designed for Street Lab by Alex Ching, these signs will help our staff and our community partners guide kids and families to stay safe, while...

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