Playful Cities – Talk the Walk

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Date(s) - 22/07/2010
4:30 pm - 7:15 pm

Play England


The theme for our meeting on Thursday 22 July was “Playful Cities “.

As this is an event to give as many people a chance to get to know others in the room, we limit the presentations to only a few minutes each.  Any participant that wants to address the whole room may do so – the more participants electing to do so the less time each of them has to speak!

Presentations to be made on the evening include:

Frances Basham, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham – spaces that encourage walking in a playful manner

Lottie Child, Street Training – how play takes cues from the urban built environment to shape our cities and shift behavioural norms.

Hattie Coppard, Snug & Outdoor – Flexible play comes to Gillett Square in Hackney

Noel Farrer, Farrer Huxley Associates – The Reality of Creating Playable Landscapes

Tim Gill, Rethinking Childhood – children’s independent mobility

Elizabeth Hoehnke, CABE Space – Decent homes need decent spaces – an action plan to improve open spaces in social housing areas

Liz Kessler – playfulness is all about place

Naseem Khan, Friends of Arnold Circus – bringing together different energies in a multicultural community

Anna Lui, Tonkin Lui Architects – Play in the City of London: a play strategy that sets out an approach towards play, playfulness, and place-making.

Alex Mills, KIDS – Playable space for all: inclusion at the heart of planning and development.

Alexandra Rook, London Parks and Green Spaces Forum – The need for a Community of Practice to share expertise to maintain playful spaces/natural play spaces in a new age of austerity

Duncan Speakman – Subtlemobs – trying to find poetics in the everyday rather than creating spectacle

Bernard Spiegal, PLAYLINK – is consultation all that it is cracked up to be

Andrew Stuck, Rethinking Cities – Amazing London

Ruth Webber, Downham Nutrition Partnership – Duckling Adventures

Andrew Wilson, Thumbprint Co-Operative – Free All Monsters! – using mobile phones to create new imaginative spaces in public space

Prior to the Talk the Walk, from 3.00pm, Liz Kessler (an urban designer who until recently was Public Space Co-ordinator for EC1 New Deal for Communities) will be leading a site visit in the EC1 area to a play space that has been developed to provide opportunities for all ages – a 1 hour visit will begin at Spa Fields (just beside Exmouth Market). Read an article by Liz Kessler on Transforming Public Space.

Download the delegate list  – read comments written on post-it notes at the end of the event and the results of our 2010 annual survey that took place immediately after this event.

Friends of Arnold Circus invite you to Sharing Picnic 100 on the 18 July – more details here.

Tim Gill has written an article recently on child-friendly neighbourhoods in Children & Young People Now

Play England launched a handy on-line resource to help communities develop play facilities:

Flick through a handy report on Playful Cities devised by Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu for the City of London

Read what Andy Beckett of the Guardian makes of Creative uses of Public Space

Subsequent to this Talk the Walk, we are running two Conversations to allow for deeper discussion on the topic of Playful Cities – these are scheduled to take place on the 14th & 16th September – summaries and action points from these events will posted in due course here.

Talk the Walk: Networking events for people promoting vibrant walkable neighbourhoods.

The format of a Talk the Walk event is fairly straightforward:

  • Meet up, and go on a walk
  • Mix and Mingle
  • Listen to a 3-5 minute presentation – up to 16 at any event – (let us know if you have something you want to talk about).
  • Ask questions – Share ideas – Create an action plan

Talk the Walk offers any participant the opportunity to speak to the whole group. The more speakers there are the less time each is given to speak.

Each Talk the Walk has a definite theme; themes have included: physical activity; emotional well-being and public space; animating public space; workplace health, retrofitting for walking; and children, play and independent mobility.

Bringing professionals from different fields together to promote walking is key to Talk the Walk, and in trying to achieve this and to keep costs to a minimum we have co-hosted Talk the Walks, with the Urban Design Group at the Arts Council, with Groundwork London, with Play England, with the London Borough of Bromley and with NHS Greenwich.  We are always keen to hear from other organisations that can offer us a venue that accommodates 40 people.

You can read about previous Talk the Walks on this wiki and find out what participants think about them.

Go to Get in Touch page to register your interest in a Talk the Walk or other Talkshops we offer form.