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We Need More Public Space for Teen Girls – Bloomberg

Designed by Höweler + Yoon Architecture, “Swing Time” delivered the kind of fun, physical outdoor experience with room for face-to-face conversation that many teen girls are looking for.
Basketball courts, skate parks and playgrounds overlook an important demographic: teenage girls. A burgeoning design movement is trying to fix that.
When the playscape Swing Time popped up in Boston in 2014, visitors started having too much fun. The 20 hoop-shaped swings suspended from a white shade structure light up when in use, glowing purple with vigorous motion. Its creators at Höweler + Yoon Architecture had imagined people would swing in ones and twos. Instead groups tried to pile on together, hoping to share the sway and have a conversation.
Susannah Walker, co-founder of the newly created British charity Make Space for Girls, saw in Swing Time something that would have delighted her 17-year-old self.  “At the end of the summer holidays my friend and I ran out of money,” Walker wrote in a March post. “We had nothing to do and there was nowhere to go. So we’d go and hang out on the swings in the early evening and chat as the light slowly faded into dusk. It was better than sitting around at home.”

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