From Your Health Journal…..”A fascinating article from News.com.au (from Australia) called Close roads to let kids out to play – which discusses a very important topic, lack of play areas for children. With cutbacks to physical education, recreation programs, longer hours at school and home work, and many other extra-curricular activities, limited space for play is an important topic. Childhood obesity continues to rise – heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, weak joints, low self esteem, and other chronic illness all tie into lack of physical activity available to children. The article points to one expert who suggests using ‘safe’ roof tops and ‘closing’ city streets as play areas. The article suggests if there are no spaces to build playgrounds, other alternatives need to be used. Please take the time to visit the News.com.au web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”
From the article…..
City streets should be closed to cars in afternoons so children can play and rooftops should be turned into safe play spaces, a world leading health and planning expert says.
The proposal by Dr. Karen Lee targets a severe shortage of places for children as schools go high rise, crowded classrooms don’t have enough space for jump rope competitions and residents fight playground plans. Dr. Lee is New York City’s award-winning healthy urban planning expert, who has helped reverse childhood obesity rates in the city and will address NSW government planners today.
She said Sydney’s severe play space shortage could be easily dealt with by opening city roofs and streets to fun.
Space-strapped cities such as Sydney, with neighborhoods that were “fully built”, could host “play streets” for children to skate, ride bikes and scooters without car danger, she said.
“If there is space to build playgrounds and parks then we should do so but we have neighborhoods, already fully built, and we may not have enough play space for the kids,” she said.
Dr Lee said it had worked successfully in NYC, where single blocks were closed to cars at certain times.
“It can occur weekly or every day at certain times and it is opened up for children to play,” she said.
Dr Lee said soccer lessons could be held and neighbors meet to get to know one another.
There was strong evidence that having space for active play increased physical activity in children and adults.
To read the complete article…..Click here