Upcycling towards a playful tomorrow
Indian Architect & Builder|November 2019
Play is like the middle child, often forgotten, and always taking a back seat. For young kids, play can simply be running around, armwrestling with friends, building sandcastles on the beach, or singing popular music tracks in the shower.
Pooja Rai

For the older generations, the various forms of play can range from early morning jogs, gossiping with co-workers, playing with pets, long drives with loved ones, or even time spent in a park watching their kids or grandkids.

In children, play enhances a range of crucial life skills, including collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence. In today’s society, however, there is an overall ignorance about the greater necessity of play for all age groups. The role of play in inducing increased productivity & learning, reducing stress, energizing the body and mind, stimulating social relationships, and contributing to happier lifestyles is hardly ever taken into account while building the cities of today.

A well-designed city, consisting of interspersed green zones facilitating play and relaxation, will enhance the development and wellbeing of the residents, leading to an overall healthier community. Multiple precedents showcasing that the built environment can affect a person’s mind and behavior brings in opportunities for city planners to influence and improve the local environment through design. Parks and playgrounds are like the lifeline to the city, counteracting global warming by filtering out harmful pollution and producing oxygen, while also providing a haven for activity, recreation, and social engagement. On the other hand, most cities of today promote a sedentary lifestyle. Overpopulation, increased traffic, noise pollution, and lack of walkable spaces have transformed us into a society that is increasingly staying indoors, engaged in creating a social universe within the confines of our digital counterparts. There is an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, asthma, and reduced mental health, leading to disorders like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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