“Make Way for Play” is a project to identify strategies for improving access to active living opportunities throughout the city.
- Did you know that almost 25% of Chicago’s land area is public way, including roads, alleys, and sidewalks?
- Did you know that Chicago is home to more than 500 parks ranging from small play-lots to historic parks that draw residents and visitors from across the region?
Even with Chicago’s vast park system and extensive bikeway and sidewalk network, there are still barriers to active living, such as difficult intersections, play areas that are not in easy walking distance, and concerns about personal safety. It’s important to face these challenges to make it easier and safer to get outside and move.
In this project, we’re exploring tactics that range from traffic calming to creatively using the public right of way to allow for play. For example, a pedestrian refuge island might be appropriate for a key crossing to a park. Roads can be temporarily closed to cars to create room for “Play Streets,” which allow for many kinds of physical activity. The end product will be guidelines and recommendations that public agencies and community groups can use to facilitate active living and improve the health of Chicagoans.
“Make Way for Play” is a project of Healthy Places, which is led through a joint partnership of the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children to address obesity and create healthier environments where Chicagoans live, work, learn, and play. “Make Way for Play” is being developed with support from the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Chicago Park District. Healthy Places is part of the Centers for Disease Control’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative funded through the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Learn more about Healthy Places at www.healthyplaceschicago.org.