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Transforming everyday urban spaces into playgrounds

Urban Thinkscape provides children from low-income families with mental stimulation by embedding play and learning opportunities in public spaces. A group of psychologists, architects and educators are behind the project.

Based in Philadelphia, Urban Thinkspace creatively blends architectural design and psychological science while aiming to create social change.

The power of collaboration

Urban Thinkscape is an example of what is possible when different stakeholders and professionals collaborate. The interdisciplinary team consists of; Bettye Ferguson a renowned community leader, three psychologists Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Dr. Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Dr. Brenna Hassinger-Das and architect Itai Palti is the sole man on the project.

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek said: “We believe you can transform spaces and take learning moments out of the fun moments families spend in the everyday everywhere.” She continued, “we are actually going into the environment and transforming everyday spaces like bus stops into opportunities for playful learning.”

Urban Thinkscape provides children and their care providers an opportunity to play and develop skills while traveling within their city. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek aptly concludes there are infinite possibilities to carve out spaces and places for play in the urban landscape “if we just become more playful and think of every moment as a learning moment.”

Author: Julia Zvobgo

Julia Zvobgo is a Cultural Anthropologist and the Community Manager of Child in the City.

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