Adrian Voce is a prominent advocate of a child's right to play and had lots of previous involvement trying to make good policy for play. His words here are particularly concise and hard hitting. I like his analysis:
'A society that proscribes hopscotch (BBC News, 2013), ball games and young people simply hanging out together in public, while accepting a daily toll of death and injury to children simply trying to get from one side of a street to another, really should examine its priorities.'
play is so universal, its manifestations so diverse and the barriers so complex that, as our list implies, a co-ordinated, long-term approach is needed. Crosscutting play strategies should be adopted by city authorities – with the political leadership and interdepartmental cooperation necessary to make them effective. Lady Allen of Hurtwood (1968) urged almost 50 years ago, local authorities need to employ play specialists to work across ‘housing, education, parks and health …’ and for planners ‘to bring more sensitive awareness into the places where people live and where they bring up families, so that children and their parents can feel they belong to a community that is intimate’. Lady Allen knew that only with this specific, strategic commitment to enabling children to play within the public spaces of their communities, will we be moving closer to the genuinely child-friendly city.