Mexico City uses “urban toys” to reactivate and revitalize underused public spaces

One doesn’t need to spend as much time in lovely Mexico as I (Storm) do—about two months every year for the past quarter century—to know that Mexicans might be the most playful people on the face of the Earth.

So it should come as no surprise that innovative planners, designers, and technologists at Mexico City‘s Laboratorio para la Ciudad turned to play when they were trying to figure out how to revitalize some of the city’s most underused public spaces.

But, rather than trying to figure it out in isolation, they host an “Urban Toys” competition.

It sought architectural proposals for temporary urban interventions that would reactivate underused public spaces through play and amusement. They received eighty-six proposals.

Urban toys are multi-functional objects adapted to the public space where they are installed. They respond to children’s demand for play areas and for new ways to explore the world.

Urban toys are artifacts that push the boundaries for playground equipment, defying the traditional play areas that are usually installed in public spaces, such as swing sets, slides and other standardized plastic modules.

Each selected team will receive a prize of 50,000 Mexican pesos (approximately $2630 USD), and the “urban toys” will soon be installed in three of Mexico City’s public squares, where workshops for psychological development will take place as well in order to generate a more resilient city.

See full article in Arch Daily by Karina Zatarain + image credits.

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