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BRAC Community based Play Lab

BRAC Play Lab is a great candidate for the Real Play City Challenge because it is a low-cost, high impact, and iterative model which utilizes available space within socio-economically disadvantaged areas and is easy to replicate in various urban contexts because of its sustainable and adaptable design. Our entry showcases one such Play Lab built in a peri-urban area called Banasree in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Banasree Play Lab is one of the 101 community-based Play Labs set up near Dhaka.

The hectic urban life in the developing cities of Bangladesh does not offer enough opportunity for a holistic growth environment for children, more so for children coming from underprivileged communities. Play has the potential to ensure development and well-being and unlock opportunities to create, from the very beginning, a generation of well-rounded, confident, individuals and the primary goal of BRAC Play Lab is to promote Learning through Play.

Playful Learning Landscapes Action Network, an initiative of Ultimate Block Party

Playful Learning Landscapes Action Network (PLLAN) is unique in that it lies at the intersection of the Conscious Cities urban planning movement and the movement to optimize early education in and out of schools. It is grounded in the science of how children learn and emerges from the research of child development pioneers and PLLAN founders, Drs. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff. Additionally, the evaluation of Playful Learning (PL) installations has already shown measurable and significant impact on children 2-8.

PLLAN applies research-based child development principles to the creation of PL environments that promote community activation and increased equity for underserved communities that historically have had less access to learning enrichment activities. The work we have done, in Philadelphia particularly, has provided a template for scaling the work to cities across the world and improving long-term outcomes for children and communities.

Nüdel Kart: providing a scalable solution to vastly improve child development & community cohesion in any context

Every child has the right to thrive, no matter where they are born. Children represent pure potential and we have worked for over a decade to unlock that potential.

The Nüdel Kart is an all inclusive, flat packed, loose parts play kart specifically prototyped, designed and tested with refugees and disadvantaged communities. From its foundation is all inclusive; culturally, physically and developmentally. It’s compact, portable and can be used inside and outside.

Play is crucial for all children, and Nüdel Kart provides an innovative and enticing play solution with infinite configurations. It creates a safe space for community connection in places where this is often extremely difficult due to differences in culture, language, trauma and social norms.

Leaning on over 10 years global experience supporting over 4000 stimulating play spaces, Playground Ideas developed Nüdel Kart in conjunction with children, parents, playworkers, and educators through rigorous consultation, testing and observation.

Special Mentions

PSI - Participatory Spatial Intervention

The physical intervention was able to convert a public space into a social place, breaking barriers across nationality, gender, and age. The intervention aims to expand the uses of the space and the length of time that people utilized it. Play elements were introduced to incentivize parents to stay longer and provide healthy stimulation for children while their parents are shopping. Moreover, the social interaction between children from different nationalities incentivizes parents to talk to each other, building new relationships.

Play is very important for children’s cognitive and physical development, yet many refugee children do not have access to play facilities and live in crowded environments where play space is limited. As highlighted in the Urban Play Framework, mainstreaming play into urban public spaces, including streets, is a way of creating play opportunities for the most disadvantaged children, improving childhood well-being and overall development.

Play Africa - Our Ideal World

Disrupting the idea of a “museum,” Play Africa developed a city-wide museum model to bring play, creativity, innovation, and connection to a divided society. Through replicable placemaking and flexible programs and exhibits, Play Africa transforms public spaces into inclusive places for high-quality play and playful learning. We’ve become a globally-celebrated platform to champion children’s rights, bring families together, and foster social inclusion.

We partner with governments, businesses, and civil society to advance child-friendly, safe, and playful urban practice. We are based inside a former prison at Constitution Hill, just 15 meters from Nelson Mandela’s cell. We transform this former prison into a joyful family playscape. We also create pop-up city experiences -- in streets, school halls, parks, community centers, and rooftops.
Our model is scalable and replicable in many urban African contexts. Our initiative involves partners in Dakar, Accra, Lagos, Kigali, Nairobi, Harare, Gaborone, Lusaka, and Maseru.


Tamaulipas is the first permanent urban toy in Mexico City. It is the evolution of the concept into a play space typology, a replicable children’s participatory methodology, an urban design strategy, and an example of how accepting children as autonomous actors and rights’ holders has the potential to trigger new paradigms around education, urban planning, and spatial justice.

It is designed to transform an underused garden-like space, between the Tamaulipas and Campeche buildings in Tlatelolco. For over a year, MACIA Estudio worked with children, women, and neighbors to transform the area from a derelict, insecure space into a place that invites everyone throughout the day, where people feel a sense of belonging and children showcase their sense of agency by explaining either to other children or neighbors how they are the architects of Tamaulipas.

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