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Real Play Coalition – Expanding the Partnership for Play

This engaging and hands-on workshop will give participants an opportunity to connect and jointly explore topics of how play can be a powerful strategy to help solve many of the world's challenges. We will also launch the 2022 Real Play City Challenge as well as two publications.

Christina Witcomb


date June 29, 2022 | 13:30 - 15:00
Multifunction Hall Room 11
Lego Foundation
Equitable urban futures
NE 111


This networking event aims to launch the Real Play Coalition (RPC) new partnership model, developed to catalyze play in collaboration with new organizations committed to play, to drive sustainable development, and to foster children’s well-being and development. The RPC’s core members are LEGO Foundation, Arup, National Geographic, IKEA and Unicef, which came together, and have joined resources, skills, and knowledge, as we believe in the power of play as a critical element for children’s well-being and happiness, as well as for their healthy physical and emotional growth. Guided by a collective knowledge sharing and impact driven approach, the Coalition aims to expand their membership’s network and bring together organisations that are committed to play, and work towards the vision of environments that are more playful, and responsive to the needs of and the challenges facing children and youth. The event will invite participants to explore the role of play in driving sustainable change and innovation in cities. RPC will present their latest work and research findings, including their publication on “Nature-based Play”, developed with Play Scotland and the University of Glasgow, along with city authorities and organisations globally; and their new “Real Play Design Guide”, developed in collaboration with Catalytic Action and PlacemakingX. This will be followed by a workshop to present the RPC new partnership model, and to debate and brainstorm the role of partnerships, co-creation and multi-stakeholder initiatives to catalyse play in cities. The event will provide the opportunity for stakeholders to connect, share knowledge and ideas, and discuss principles of a common framework on how to collaborate in the future. This could include: co-development of common targets, indicators and measurement tools, joint research, advocacy, and specific play-focused initiatives in specific cities or countries. The long-term aim is to establish a global platform for civil society actors, the private sector, researchers, practitioners and child and youth organizations working to make cities more playful and fit for children and youth, with benefits for the wider society and the planet. Interested organisations would be given/sign up to receive an application form to submit a formal application to the RPC. After the WUF, the Coalition’s secretariat would review the applications and some organisations would be selected. Event structure: • Introduction to RPC new partnership model, and thinking behind taking a more collective knowledge sharing and impact driven approach. • Launch of Real Play Design Guide and Nature-based Play Publication. • Workshop to take pulse and document foundational principles, and potential areas of networking and collaboration. Participants will share how their work relates to play, children and youth, what they could benefit from a network and what they could contribute. • Closing remarks.


We are proposing this networking event to advance innovative partnerships across diverse urban stakeholders to foster the connections between play, children’s well-being and development and sustainable urban development. Key objectives are as follows: • Raise awareness of the links between play, children’s wellbeing and development, and the wider benefits for society and the planet. • Share work done so far by the Real Play Coalition, including the publication on Nature-based Play, the Real Play City Challenge, and the new Real Play Design Guide. • Present the new structure of the Real Play Coalition, aiming at creating a platform of like-minded partners to augment the uptake of play in global, national and local development agendas. • Bring a diverse range of interested stakeholders together in the context of the WUF, including IGOs, INGOs, city networks, the private sector, youth led organisations, researchers, thinktanks, city representatives, etc. • Understand what these organizations are doing, are interested in and explore shared approach and possibilities for collaboration to maximise impact • Explain the application form and next steps and how the Coalition would support such an alliance • Decide on the next steps to advance collaboration after the WUF.

Session speakers

Ms. Sara Candirraci
Associate Director - Inclusive and Resilient Cities Lead
Mr. Ricardo Conti
Catalytic Action
Ms Nilofer Tajuddin
Associate, Programs and communications
Resilient Cities Network
Ms Renet Korthals
Designer and Consultant - Children's Spaces
Space for Play
Ms Dasha Moschonas
Urban Designer
Mr Guillermo Bernal
Director of Fundación Placemaking México and Lugares Públicos
Mr Ahmed AbuLaban
City Director of Ramallah
Ramallah Municipality
Mr Ethan Kent
Executive Director