Louise Drumm writes about the importance of reclaiming our street as social spaces:
On Sunday 10th of April, we closed part of our road for a few hours in the afternoon so that children could go outside and play together in a safe environment. It was also a great excuse for the adults to get together over a cup of tea and some home baking to know each other. We were delighted to welcome Ian and show him the benefits for the children and the community of reclaiming our street as a social space for a few hours.
After consulting with our neighbours we applied for a temporary road closure from the council and stewarded the afternoon ourselves. Stewarding involves escorting vehicles who needed access to and from the street and managing the barriers.
Unstructured play and outdoor play are increasingly being seen as an important part of self-development for children. Playing out allows children to do both safely. It was lovely to see children of different ages, who never met before even though they live beside each other, whizzing up and down the street on scooters and bikes or creating drawings with chalk.
If you would like to find out more about playing out, the Edinburgh Playing Out blog or Edinburgh Playing Out Facebook page has information about the process. At the moment it is free to apply for one closure. Edinburgh Playing Out has been campaigning to allow for neighbours to apply for regular closures at no cost.
I've lived on my street for 9 years and the afternoon has brought us together as a community: from the 7 month old to the couple in their 70s who all came out. It was a lovely way to get to know people and the question on everyone's lips at the end was "When we could do it again?".