Image by Make Space 4 Play
Play satellites is an interconnected network of play spaces with safe routing in between.
Playgrounds function as excellent places where older children can go by themselves, and younger children can go with their parents, but only if the parents have enough time to go there. Play is more often seen as an outing. By creating several smaller play satellites, on small unused pocket spaces, in the proximity of a larger playground, it is possible to create more accessible places where children can play more often, even for just 15 minutes. A participatory process in which the community is taking the lead in appointing the best pocket locations, results in a lively neighbourhood, in which play can spread over the whole neighbourhood instead of only ‘as an outing’ on the playground.
Location Cairo, Egypt
Organisation: Make Space 4 Play
Partner organisation Takween integrated community development Scale of catchment Neighbourhood
Beneficiary Children aged 3-8 & Caregivers
Built environment component Public space; pocket spaces
(1) Participatory process, in which residents take the lead in appointing best pocket spaces, e.g. inner courts, squares in front of religious building, empty lots with trash or old cars. Dimensions differ from a single parking place (2.5 x 6 meters) to a larger semi-public area.
(2) Participatory process to find out the types of play mostly needed at these locations. Ideally all play satellites together fill the wide range of types of play: fantasy play, creative play, challenging play, play involving rules, repetitive play (swing, slide, turn etc), social play and observative play.
(3) Cleaning out the place together with residents. Constructing the play satellites together with residents.
(1) Neighbourhood scan led by residents, combining risk-mapping with mapping the potentials (2) Building a catalogue of low coast and multi-functional elements to construct together with residents fitting the wished type of play.