Play in Diverse Environments

The copy writer captures the spirit of indignation while weaving in a quotation from Susan G. Solomon on the American playground:

[T]oday's playgrounds, "defined by a sizable, colorful piece of commercial equipment that links steps, deck, and slides," discourages creativity. Climb up, Careful. Now, slide! Repeat. (Get bored. Get cranky. Throw sand.)

SEE: The Potential of Place. Issue 6 Spring 2007
The article goes on to attribute the overly cautious (and boring) design to a litigious environment (which we know is linked to the lack of universal medical insurance): "Swings, monkey bars, and seesaws are passé, considered overly dangerous, liability lawsuits waiting to happen."

The point is also made in a comparative mode by Solomon in her The Science of Play: How to Build Playgrounds That Enhance Children's Development
Parents feel that the smallest injury can be blamed on someone other than their own child. The American legal system sometimes allows generous damages for an injury, and parents often pursue financial remuneration. In Europe or Japan there is minimal financial compensation; the legal system restricts tort damages. Instead, the European or Japanese child is expected to take stock of his actions and consider his own and communal safety. After an accident, the European or Japanese child would probably say, "What did I do wrong?"; The American child (or his parents) might ask, "Where is my lawyer?"
Might I suggest that a visit to the Corktown Common is in order. Catch sight of a butterfly, run through the splash pad and of course climb and slide. All without the irritating problem of prohibitive repetition.

And so for day 1600