PlayStreets Chicago

PlayStreets in Chicago is a collaborative initiative for healthier and stronger communities by creating safe and accessible residential play areas for kids to be active, to learn, and for neighbors to come together. A permit program allows residents to establish short-term traffic restrictions on their streets to use as pop-up recreation spaces. A grant program from the Chicago Department of Public Health supports community-based organizations to provide local leadership in the development of PlayStreets in targeted community areas.

PlayStreets Traffic Safety Permits

The Chicago Department of Transportation grants no-cost permits to residents and community organizers for the purposes of PlayStreets and other resident organized events. These temporary traffic restrictions (no through traffic, limited parking) on a single residential block (no alleyway entrances or intersections) create safe, open spaces for families to run around, play sports and games, and join resident organized activities.

Visit CDOT to learn more about permit criteria and how to apply.

Healthy Chicago 2.0 PlayStreets Grants

Since 2012, the Chicago Department of Public Health has issued summer implementation grants and offered technical support to various community-based organizations for the development of PlayStreets in targeted community areas. These grants serve as one of several strategies CDPH leads as part of Healthy Chicago 2.0, a plan to advance health equity across Chicago’s neighborhoods by bridging service gaps and looking at root causes for disparities in health outcomes.

Implementing community-based organizations will help organize residents to create safe, accessible environments where youth and families can be physically active, learn, create, come together, and have fun. The organizations will also add to the space through their own programming expertise, the skills and resources of agencies they invite, and the support of local volunteers to encourage physical wellness, provide family health services, and build community.

CDPH’s annual grants are expected to sponsor and create more than 150 such PlayStreets activations over the summer months through more than two dozen community-based organizations. On behalf of CDPH, Gads Hill Center and World Sport Chicago are now accepting Letters of Interest from new and returning PlayStreets partners interested in being implementation leads for their communities over summer 2018.

Download Letter of Interest Instructions

Letter of Interest Deadline: Thursday, March 1st at 3:00pm

Technical Support Regions

To provide support throughout the city of Chicago, CDPH has selected Gads Hill Center and World Sport Chicago to serve as PlayStreets Delegate Agencies to provide technical support within two contract regions.

If you would like to learn more details about how PlayStreets is being implemented in your area or to get involved with a specific activation, review this map to determine your technical support region and connect with the appropriate facilitating agency as directed below.

North & West Region

Facilitated by Gads Hill Centers, the North & West Region is defined as community Areas 1-32, 76, and 77 or those north of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and Interstate 55.¬†Contact Gabriela at playstreets@gadshillcenter.org or 312-226-0963×291¬†for more information about joining PlayStreets efforts¬†in your North & West Region community.

You may also visit¬†Gads Hill Center’s PlayStreets North & West Region page.

South Region

Facilitated by World Sport Chicago, the South Region is defined as community areas 33-75 or those south of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and Interstate 55. Contact Kelly at krutherford@worldsportchicago.org or 312-861-4941 for more information about joining PlayStreets efforts in your South Region community.

You may also visit our PlayStreets South Region page.

Presented in Partnership

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Healthy Chicago CDPH

Technical Support
Gads Hill Center (North and West)
World Sport Chicago (South)

Several free planning materials are available to help organizers in planning their activations!

Visit the resource page for help with:

  • Permitting and resources available through the City of Chicago,
  • Activity ideas, event planing and event design, and more!
  

PlayStreets in Action

View More PlayStreets Photos