We can't resist an afternoon at the best kids' playgrounds NYC has to offer, but we can do without excessive crowding.
According to City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer's new report, “State of Play: A New Model for NYC Playgrounds," little New Yorkers don't have as many facility options to choose from as they should. As demographics shift, the city needs to keep up with public spaces for incoming little ones.
The comprehensive study finds that there are fewer than five playgrounds for every 10,000 children in eight community districts, including Borough Park and Jackson Heights. Brooklyn is the borough that takes the biggest hit, with just eight playgrounds for every 10,000 children under the age of 10. With the warm weather upon us and plenty of things to do in spring, we have to wonder how these findings will affect our kids' time outdoors.
“Playgrounds are essential public spaces, offering children a place to socialize, learn, be active, and exercise their imaginations," Comptroller Stringer said in a statement. "They are also spaces for children and families to meet their neighbors and develop strong bonds. But our findings reveal stark disparities in access to these critical public spaces in New York City. That’s why our City needs to overhaul the planning, construction and maintenance of our playground system."
In response to Gotham's shocking title—number 48 in playgrounds per capita among the 100 largest American cities—Comptroller Stringer is calling for new 200 playgrounds to be built over the next five years. This will be in addition to the city's current 2,067 public playgrounds. But it's not just about new jungle gyms and slides. The comptroller is also asking NYC Parks Department to prioritize playground maintenance to address the hazardous conditions in various locations.