Why run a play street?

Hackney residents organising play streets explain some of the benefits:

Two boys aged around 6 chalk draw in the street

Children get to make new friends

“It’s great that children can meet other children who live in their street. They can form new friendship groups .. Plus when children play together in their street, they can easily try out new things like cycling or scooting, and learn from having a go with each other’s toys. My daughter got a real sense of achievement when she learnt how to ride a bike,” Melanie Read, from Finsbury Park.

“I get a distinct post-session high – I feel exhilarated and inspired to be part of something that could be a game-changer, in terms of changing the way people live together in neighbourhoods, and in terms of the way we think about streets: that they are not for the sole use of cars and drivers.” Anna Shepard, Roding Road

“We’re really lucky that we’ve got this ideal scenario of people from diverse backgrounds … coming together. The penny drops that we’re all a community. I feel some responsibility for my community and the problems in it. If we can start with what’s in our street then that can make a difference.” Grace Shore Banks, Albion Drive.

A group of about 40 children and adults wave and cheer together in the street

Play streets boost neighbourly relations in Daubenay Road

“People in our street have got more chatty and neighbours have got to know each other better. Sometimes it feels like I can’t walk down the street without having to stop and have lots of chats!” Gerry Tissier, who helps with play streets in Roding Road and Daubenay Road.


Group of children play football in the street

Street soccer in Albion Drive. Photo by Julia Kennedy

“I feel safer in my area, and less isolated and vulnerable. I know more neighbours who keep an eye out. I feel a valued part of my community.” Allison Vitalis, Albion Drive.

Several schools and a children centre are also taking part – find our more here.

Evaluations of Hackney Play Streets

In 2017 we published a new progress report by writer/researcher Tim Gill which summarises the results and uptake of play streets during the three year period October 2013 to September 2016. See: Play_streets_report_2017.pdf

In 2013-14 we commissioned Tim Gill to carry out a more detailed evaluation. See the Final full evaluation report and Executive Summary.

This map shows where residents, schools and other organisations are currently running play streets across Hackney. Yours could be next!