This fall, a new playground was installed down along the waterfront. According to this HWS press release, “the playground is a part of a collaborative project between Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva Community Projects and the City of Geneva through the KaBOOM! organization.” I’m pretty impressed to learn about this collaborative effort. I’m also impressed that the playground was assembled by volunteers (check out the pictures here). And, I’m impressed to learn that Geneva has been designated by KaBOOM as a 2012 Playful City!
It’s important to remember that cities have to work for everyone – from kids to older adults. According to Gil Penalosa, former Commissioner of Parks and Recreation for the City of Bogotá, we need to build 8-80 cities. That is, cities that are good for an 8 year-old and an 80 year-old will be good places to live. And one of the most important elements in making cities accessible for everyone is to focus on the public realm by making sure that we have places to walk, run, play, bike, etc. The built environment is key in allowing us to integrate activity into our daily lives – be it walking or biking to school or spending time with friends in a park or playground!
Geneva’s playground is a great investment in kids, in play and in the public realm. I do wish that it was a little bit easier for kids and families to walk to the playground, but I tend to feel this way about the waterfront in general. My husband and I often joke about the need for a gondola or a zip line, but this is perhaps a discussion for another day! For now, I’m happy to just celebrate the achievements of all those who made the playground happen. I’m certainly happy to live in a Playful City!