Urban Play is a project created by Scott Burnham, a creative designer of cities, for Amsterdam in 2008. It is about approaching city design with the living, bustling nature of city life in mind, because cities do not belong to those who create them, but to those who use them. I won’t go into the full details here – that’s what the link below is for – but I was inspired by the idea of creating public projects as part of a city that allow people to flourish creatively in the world around them. People rarely follow the paths tarmacked or gravelled out by park planners when they want to go somewhere else, something in itself that is a consoling reminder of human integrity and resilience, and in a way of the influence that we can have over our local environments. To remember that the ‘little people’ own and shape the world they live in is important for the powers who plan to introduce legislation and restrictions designed to better the world – people are to be worked with, and not against. Equally, it is important to remember that this means we are responsible. But if the causes that matter can capture the minds of those most influential by number, the possibilities are endless!
Urban Play demonstrates that people are keen to interact with the world they live in, and can be inspired and moved by innovative art and design. The installations used show how the apparently bleak metropolitan drone of large urban environments can be brought to life and loved by appealing to human curiosity and creativity, thereby restoring its inhabitants at the same time.