Playing It (Too) Safe: Play, Playgrounds, and the Value of Risk

Thu, February 13,
6:30 PM
8:00 PM


  • Carnegie Music Hall

Type of Event

  • Keynote & Community Conversation


American playgrounds, hampered by simplistic notions of safety and protection, have become exceedingly dull to kids and lost their role as hubs of community life. Children lack opportunities to experience appropriate elements of risk and to assess, confront, and learn from unpredictable situations. Susan Solomon, author of American Playgrounds: Revitalizing Community Space, reveals the critical importance of risk and adventure in well-designed playgrounds and illustrates how play sites can be improved quickly and, often, inexpensively.

Short presentations and a community conversation will be moderated by Bill Isler, president of the Fred Rogers Company, and will include Wendy Nilsson, executive director of Partnership for Providence Parks (Rhode Island) on the intersection of design, community vision, and collaboration in transforming and stewarding neighborhood parks; Gabriela Burkhalter, curator of The Playground Project, on play sculpture as public space; Michelle Figlar, executive director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC); representatives from Mayor Bill Peduto’s office; and North Braddock’s Recycle Park project. 
The event is the second in a series of community conversations presented as part the Playful Pittsburgh collaborative that includes Carnegie Museum of Art, PAEYC, Let's Move Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, The Sprout Fund, and others. 

Cost: Free; Doors open at 6 p.m., program begins at 6:30.
DPW/PQAS hours and Act 48 credit provided

Register now to reserve your space!

The Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC) works to support high-quality care and education for young children from birth until age nine across 10 counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania. PAEYC provides professional development, community resources and advocacy for the needs and rights of children, their families and the individuals who work with them. For more information about Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children, call 412.421.3889 or visit our website at