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Can New York City fix its playgrounds? Design critic Kimberlie Birks explores the city’s history of urban play spaces, beginning in 1903 when 20,000 children turned out in the rain for the opening of Seward Park, the country’s first municipal playground. Today’s playgrounds, Birks argues in Scooter, often constrict the free play that is so key to the development of creativity in children. Birks describes a recent renaissance by visionaries like Michael Van Valkenburgh, Matthew Urbanski and David Rockwell that attempts to move New York beyond the “catalog playground” and restore imaginative play to our cityscape.
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