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American Playgrounds: Revitalizing Community Space

Susan G. Solomon

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Susan Solomons groundbreaking and marvellously illustrated American Playgrounds, not only highlights the problems with contemporary playgrounds but also stimulates the reader to consider todays crisis of undervalued public space. Since the 1970s, Solomon maintains, American playgrounds have degenerated into irrelevance as cultural artefacts and educational tools. Imbedded in Solomons text is a frank indictment of American attitudes that are stunted by a heavy-handed emphasis on safety that limits the nature of play and the vitality of places for public assembly.

Featured American architects, landscape architects, and sculptors, include Stanley Saitowitz, Walter Hood, and Mary Miss who have pioneered the restoration of aesthetic and developmental values to play areas for young people. Solomon appraises these success stories and proposes fresh and urgent remedies that blend excellent design principles, innovative planning, and affordability.

Accessibly written, American Playgrounds will fascinate parents, educators, policymakers, and art, architectural, and cultural historians alike.

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