Patronage of play spaces continues to expand. Once the province of municipalities, public playscapes are now supported by percent –for-art programs; housing authorities; even the Olympic redevelopment corporation in London. At the same time, charitable foundations are showing a keen interest in playgrounds as public venues and as centers of kid based learning. It is lovely to see that foundation support, which was essential for modern playgrounds in the 1960s ( e.g. M.Paul Friedberg’s Jacob Riis Houses; Richard Dattner’s Adventure Playground), is continuing a legacy.
Two organizations, both in Philadelphia but with very different constituencies, recently came to my attention. One is based in community design and the other is an advocate for local business. While these seem disparate organizations, each has produced a model for improving city neighborhoods through innovative play areas funded largely by local philanthropic resources.