Cities are lacking movement design. Just a few generations ago, physical activity was integral to daily life. Today, physical inactivity is the norm. We take the bus to work. We sit at our jobs. We bus home. As a result, many urbanites find themselves in a slump. We know we should move more, but we’re not sure where or how to start. We associate exercise with something that’s going to be boring, repetitive, and hard.
We think it’s a personal problem, but in fact, we’ve designed movement out of almost every activity we do. Physical activity in America and other developed economies has declined by 32% since 1965, will drop by 46% within a generation unless things change.(1)
Designing movement back into our cities will help us reach massive gains in our health, well being, and quality of life, as well as invigorate our city and workplaces.
Our solution, “Play Everyday,” is a city-sponsored campaign to promote movement in San Francisco and re-vitalize Market Street by encouraging people to play.
Our submission to the Market Street Prototyping Festival is called the “OK to Play!” zone, and it addresses multiple things Market Street needs: an area to come together, to sit, to move, and of course, to play.
Unlike other playgrounds, this is a place designed for adults who live or work in the inner city where there are few welcoming places where people can move and play together.
And unlike other workout parks, there’s no “one way” to use it, and there’s no way to fail. It’s open to improvisation and discovery, encouraging learning through movement, and offers infinite number of ways to interact with it.
It will be a beacon for people who already use the city as a gym and playground, like parkour enthusiasts, runners and outdoor exercisers.(2) And it will invite people walking and biking along Market Street to have a friendly stop-over, introducing new movements to their day.
Most importantly, a city-sponsored “Play Everyday” campaign will help us re-cast San Francisco as “The Playful City:” an urban hub that puts people first and celebrates our basic human needs to move, gather, and play. And it will be a small but mighty bright spot in the story of public health in America.
Exploratorium - Exploratorium's long history of play based learning and full body immersive experiences makes them a perfect partner to develop, test and realize the Ok to Play! zone
PROXY - Existing community partner to Basic Training and existing experimenter in creative public place-making
Envelope A+D - Existing advisor to Basic Training
Twitter, Zendesk, Fitbit, Lululemon, Aether - Jenn works in an advisory capacity to these companies which are all located in the area and are district stakeholders.
If you like this idea, "me too" it to stay updated on it's progress. Feel free to share your insights in the "How can you help?" section. If you'd like to get involved with this project, let us know. You can fill out a volunteer form
to help with the overall festival.