Real Play Coalition

Strengthening Urban Resilience Through Play


Building the city of the future requires first and foremost that children of today are empowered and prepared, not only to survive, but to thrive in the face of adversity. Evidence has overwhelmingly shown that play is essential for children’s health, physical-and emotional growth, and intellectual and educational development. It also helps children to acquire social and behavioural skills that build resilience.

In our drive to create more resilient cities, we are building a movement to harness the importance of play in children’s development. In partnership with the Real Play Coalition , and building on the Urban Play Framework, we will work together to reclaim play in cities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on children, disrupting their schooling, affecting their well-being, social contact, and even nutrition. This is especially damaging for children living in deprived urban areas, increasing the risk of poverty given the accumulated disadvantages.

As the world continues to fight the rapid spread of the coronavirus, national and local leaders, international organizations and communities are emphasizing the need to “build back better”. While local governments reassess their priorities and consider stimulus packages, the imperatives for more resilient, inclusive, healthy, and green cities are more significant than ever.

It is critical for city leaders to ensure that stimulus spending and investment priorities prepare and strengthen the resilience of their children and families whose lives have changed in profound ways during this pandemic. Cities in partnership with their local communities, and with the support of national governments, the private sector, and the global community, need to act quickly to prevent losses in children’s development.

We owe this to current and future generations.

To learn more, view our webinar from Cities on the Frontline: Reclaiming the Value of Play in Cities – Click HERE to View

Click HERE to Download Brochure on Our Initiative


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The Real Play Coalition is a global non-profit coalition created in 2018 which includes UNICEF, National Geographic, Arup, IKEA and LEGO Foundation. It has the ambition to create a movement that narrows the play gap for 100 million children by 2030, by making play accessible and inclusive, because it is an essential right for children to thrive now and in the future. The coalition seeks to change the perception of the value of play; embed play-based principles into urban design and planning; support the implementation and upscaling of safe play activations in cities globally; and grow the number of play moments in the lives of children across the world.

Our Ambassador Cities:

Houston | Milan | Belfast | Barcelona | Colima | Ramallah | Tbilisi

Real Play Coalition