When you look then, at these two spaces, playgrounds and fitness parks, you will see two drastically different ideas on what 'play' is.
We all recognize the importance of play for children. New York City alone is home to hundreds of children’s playgrounds–adventure and imagination playgrounds, modern designs, interactive sculptures, nature inspired, wood constructions, loose parts, prefab structures, and more. The city seems to be devoted to designing, building, and renovating new & interesting places for children to play.
But what about all those teenagers and adults?
For some reason children are the only ones allowed to indulge in play, according to society. Teenagers and Adults who attempt to engage in some form of childhood play are dismissed as unproductive, self-indulgent, and immature; and are told to ‘grow up’ and be more responsible. There must be structure and goals.
And, sadly, the city and society seems to agree by its construction. Sure, there are hundreds of playgrounds, but how many are adults allowed to use? And those that ARE designed for adults, what do they say about our expectations when it comes to adult play?