[ jogos de rua ]

Luísa Alpalhão
Lisbon / London
Portugal / UK
Public space

[ jogos de rua ] was one of the winning projects of the programme BIP/ZIP 2012 launched by Lisbon’s City Hall (Câmara Municipal de Lisboa). It consisted of a collective design and making of 8 themed mobile playground units that would appropriate the empty or run-down spaces of PRODAC, a social housing neighbourhood at the east edge of Lisbon. PRODAC is a problematic neighbourhood with an aging population that does not use the existing public spaces very proactively. The children, on the other hand, though lively and  active, have very few spaces to play outside (and inside) their schools. [ jogos de rua ] challenged the conventional institutionalized way of playing and, designed with children from 4-16, promoted more creative and free ways of playing where all small resources would become materials for the design and making of the playgrounds.

Through various workshops and festival days opened to the community we started designing the themed modules and collecting materials for their manufacture. Each module related to different varieties of games (from sand and wind, to ball games, board or role play games) and the colours chosen inspired a variety of combinations of all 8 modules.

At the end of the design and making process all of us involved wheeled the modules through the neighbourhood stopping at the various points they were designed to inhabit and testing the created games, on site, with the final users, the children and local residents.

In what way does your proposal contribute to the open society?
[ jogos de rua ] was designed to involve the main users, children from PRODAC, from the very beginning as active thinkers, designers, decision makers and appropriators of the 8 mobile modules that would inhabit their school and neighbourhood. It was an opened project that welcomed families and other local residents to help shaping and making the underused spaces in their neighbourhood with cross-generational interventions that should trigger conversations and activities around play, games and leisure where all could join. The parade, at the end, allowed for even the most reluctant neighbours to embrace the project and see the streets as spaces with potential for transformation to happen both at an urban and personal level.

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