The Play Australia initiative is designed to reclaim quiet residential streets across Australia as places for neighbours of all ages to connect and play regularly, and to ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.
Its vision is that children, families, neighbours, pedestrians, bike riders and motorists are given equal priority on our quiet residential streets, to share these important community spaces in a safe and respectful manner to enable all children to play outside every day.
City of Onkaparinga earlier this month received a $70,000 state government Open Your World community wellbeing grant to bring 1000 Play Streets to the south.
City of Onkaparinga Team Leader of Community Development, Paul Wright, said council’s iteration of the program is aimed at bringing neighbourhoods together and to combat the decrease in active play and growing levels of sedentary behaviour caused by COVID-19.
“It’ll also be aimed at neighbourhoods that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” Paul said.
Neighbourhood streets will be able to nominate to plan and organise their own play street events with the support of council staff. Organised street play projects will be held in four locations, each hosting three sessions with approximately 100 people per session.
Sessions will run for approximately two hours and include the use of sporting equipment such as bats, balls and skipping ropes, and council will coordinate the necessary permits and road closures to reduce the burden on volunteer neighbours. Council will also help ensure the sessions meet COVID-safe guidelines.
There’ll also be keepsakes for children, so they’re encouraged to continue to be active.
An expression of interest process will open soon to identify the four locations.