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Examining the playground as a civic space through the lens of play

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This article explores the playground space as a public space through the lens of children's play. It proposes an alternative theorisation of the playground as a site of civic action through intergenerational play. 'Ground' and 'play', the two main elements of the playground, form the thread around which this article develops. The common perception of the playground space, emerging through time as a child-centred space, is questioned. Play is seen as the means to participation and not as an activity just taking place in the playground space. It is argued that in the fluid boundaries of children's play, the symbolic space is constantly changing and re-created while, through intergenerational contact, new circumstances emerge in which the child is an active, integral member. Enacted in the playground, play has the potential to transform it into a genuine public place of intergenerational contact and participation.
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Keywords: ADVENTURE PLAYGROUNDS; CHILD-CENTRED SPACES; CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION; INTERGENERATIONAL PLAY; PLAYGROUNDS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2015-04-01

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