CITY OF ATLANTA
Mayor’s Office of Communications
For Immediate Release: August 31, 2010
City of Atlanta Wins ‘Playful City USA’ for the Fourth Consecutive Year
Atlanta, GA – For the fourth consecutive year, KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to creating more spaces for America’s children to play, has named the City of Atlanta a Playful City USA community.
The City of Atlanta was named one of 118 cities dedicated to creating innovative play- spaces that improve the lives of the City’s youth and the neighborhoods in which they live.
“The City of Atlanta is extremely proud to be named ‘Playful City USA’ for the fourth consecutive year,” Mayor Reed said. “Creating environments for young people to be happier, healthier and smarter is a top priority of my Administration. My promise to re-open all of the City’s recreation centers is in line with KaBoom!’s mission to create play-spaces within walking distance of every child in America. This helps combat childhood obesity, fragmented communities, violence and other behavioral problems.”
Atlanta is one of only 18 cities to have received the honor for each of the four years that it has been awarded. Mayor Kasim Reed and the City of Atlanta are constantly working on ways to create better opportunities for the youth of Atlanta.
“We are proud that Atlanta once again has been honored by KABOOM! as a Playful City,” says the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Commissioner George Dusenbury. “Our Parks and Recreation system strives to integrate play into our city as part of our commitment to the quality of life of our residents and visitors.”
Atlanta has demonstrated creativity in its commitment to childhood recreational activities. It has made a commitment to physical activities for all by developing unique local action plans to increase the quality of play in the community. Along with re-opening all of the recreation centers, Atlanta is partnering with the Atlanta Taskforce at Play (ATOP) to organize its third annual Play Day 2010, which will take place on September 25, 2010. This is a day where people will be encouraged to turn off their TVs, shut down their computers, go to the Midtown arts festival, play in parks, walk the Atlanta BeltLine, or play games with friends and neighbors.
In another creative effort, Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture and ATOP are organizing Playable10 International Design Competition to help make Atlanta a leader in innovative play design.
According to a statement from KaBOOM!, “Atlanta was selected for its outstanding dedication to play. A notable aspect of its commitment to children – newly elected Mayor Kasim Reed is delivering on his campaign promise of not only reopening all the city’s closed recreation centers, but also turning them into ‘Centers of Hope.’ The City is partnering with businesses and community groups like Park Pride and the Atlanta Taskforce on Play (ATOP) to increase play opportunities across the city.”
“It is encouraging that the City of Atlanta has grasped the importance of play in a child’s life and has made great strides to make it available for all of the city’s children,” says ATOP Founder Cynthia Gentry. “We encourage families to share time outside and take advantage of Atlanta’s great inventory of greenspace; an inventory that is continuing to grow thanks to the Atlanta BeltLine.”
About the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs
The City of Atlanta’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (DPRCA) enhances the lives of residents and visitors by offering programs, services and activities that encourage participation in safe, affordable and enriching recreational activities, leisure services and cultural experiences. The City’s park system consists of approximately 3,754 acres (four percent of the City’s land) inside the city limits, and 209 acres at Lake Allatoona. The parks vary from nature preserves to active city-wide greenspaces. The recreational and cultural facilities vary from small recreation centers to large cultural complexes, such as the Atlanta Civic Center and the Chastain Park Amphitheater.
Atlanta Taskforce on Play (ATOP):
The Atlanta Taskforce on Play is committed to making great play opportunities accessible to every child in Atlanta. It is the co-organizer (with Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture) of Playable10 International Design Competition. Playable10 is attracting talented designers from around the world to design a playground for Woodruff Park, a master plan for play for the Atlanta BeltLine, and Do-It-Yourself instruction manuals for innovative community built backyard playspaces. www.PlayAtlanta.org and www.PlayableDesign.org
KaBOOM! KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,600 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. www.kaboom.org