The concept of play is usually contrasted against work, as if these are distinct spheres that require their own designated slots in our schedules. Keen to dismantle this dichotomy, our team came up with the idea of public spaces that incorporate play into our everyday lives – urban jungle gyms with a variety of activities people can casually dip in and out of.
We envision these spaces as connectors rather than destinations – somewhere you might spontaneously pass through on your way elsewhere, like the office or home. They’re free, open to the public, and integrated into the wider cityscape via pedestrian links that make them accessible from multiple points.
The activities they contain are inspired by parkour, the urban training discipline that invites practitioners to navigate complex environments in creative ways, moving over, under or through obstacles instead of simply walking around them. The proposal includes climbing walls, multi-level slides, rope ladders, kayaks and more, all built into the urban landscape. We even explored the possibility of docking stations where people could borrow virtual reality headsets that let them engage in VR-accompanied journeys.
Our vision also includes elevated green spaces that evoke a park-like atmosphere – again, emphasising the idea of leisure – and provide a scenic route for passing pedestrians and cyclists.
The idea is to make getting from A to B a more exciting experience for city-dwellers, bringing some much-needed fun to the daily grind of urban commuting.