While Manhattan has 15 playgrounds within walking distance per 10,000 children, Brooklyn only has 8 spots per 10,000 kids who want to play outside.
The report mentions NYC’s changing demographics as the main culprit for playground deserts. In the 15 neighborhoods with the lowest ratio of playgrounds to kids, the number of children increased by 13.8% between 2010 and 2017. There are more children in the city than its current playgrounds can serve, both in terms of safety and accessibility.
Stringer wants the city to spend up to $300 million to build 200 more playgrounds in the next five years, and use underused streets such as dead ends to create more play space. He also proposed turning more schoolyards into playgrounds, especially in Queens, Brooklyn, and Bronx neighborhoods that are seeing a spike in child populations. According to an article in the New York Daily News, Mayor de Blasio’s office said that the city is in the process of reconstructing 67 playgrounds that haven’t seen renovations in decades, and has converted 14 schoolyards into playgrounds so far.
“By investing in playgrounds, we are investing in the future of our children," said de Blasio spokeswoman Jane Meyer. “We are investing millions of dollars to ensure our kids have space to be kids.”