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Table 1 Locations, populations, and interventions for Play Streets and Play Streets-style interventions

From: Systematic review of how Play Streets impact opportunities for active play, physical activity, neighborhoods, and communities

Reference Location, Setting Sample Description Design Intervention Description
N Age Gender, Race/Ethnicity, SES, BMI
Play Streets
 Cortinez-O’Ryan et al. (2017) [41] Santiago, Chile
Low-middle income neighborhoods with children ages 4–12.
Mean number of Attendees n = 60 (sd = 22, range: 29–126); Pedometers: n = 100 (51 intervention neighborhood). Intervention and comparison participants were statistically similar other than age. Attendees:
Age: 4–12 yrs
Pedometers: 4–8 yrs
Intervention children: 41% 4–8 years, 58.8% were 9–12 years. Comparison participants were significantly younger than intervention participants (65% were 4–8 years of age).
51% girls, 100% Latin, 75% classified as low socio-economic position; 55.5% overweight or obese. Quasi-Experimental: pre-posttest with comparison neighborhood Street Play Initiative: “Juega en tu Barrio” (Play in your Neighborhood): closing 4 consecutive blocks for children to increase physical activity and outside play. Held 2/week (Wed. & Fri.) for 12 weeks from Sept.-Dec. 2014 from 17:30 to 20:30 with adult supervision (n = 26 total). All families with a child received a self-monitoring/reminder calendar and play materials (ropes, kites, paddleballs, diabolos (juggling), and balls). Local adult monitors led group games and incentivized children to meet each other during 1st 4 sessions. Stewards from CicloRecreo Via rerouted traffic with uniforms and identifiable signs.
 Murray & Devecchi (2016) [43] Winterborough of Hantown, England, UK
5% most socio-economically deprived areas in England
n = 216 surveys (response rate = 216/1000); n = 25 semi-structured interviews. Surveys: n = 148 local adults, n = 68 children; Interviews: n = 7 parents, n = 11 children at event, n = 7 children via phone. 81% lived within 1 mile of Street Play project, 56% residents of the borough Cross-sectional: surveys with adult and child sections (3 languages: English, Polish, Arabic); Semi-structured interviews Street Play Project: “Hantown Street Play Project”: 1 pedestrian street: 16 consecutive Tuesdays June-Oct. 2013 3:30–5:30 pm. Traditional games were set up and supervised. Street was already closed to traffic prior to project.
 Zieff et al. (2016) [16] San Francisco, CA SOPARC: n = 1116
Comparison non-Play Street: n = 248
Surveys: n = 75
SOPARC: 54.5% adults, 38.4% children (≤14 yrs. out on streets) Comparison: 87.7% adults, 4.9% children (≤14 yrs. out on streets) Surveys: 100% adults SOPARC: 30.3% Latino, 28.1% Black, 23.5% white.
Comparison: 57.2% Black
Surveys: 8.0% Asian, 25.3% Black, 14.7% Hispanic, 34.7% white, 5.4% < high school graduate
Cross-sectional: SOPARC observations; Adult surveys Play Streets: 1–2 city blocks closed to motorized traffic on weekends for 4 h to create an open place to play and do leisure physical activity summer of 2013. 1 of 8 sites funded by Partnership for a Healthier America.
 D’Haese et al. (2015) [17] Ghent, Belgium Accelerometers: n = 126 (intervention Play Streets street n = 54, control non-Play Streets street n = 72) Intervention: mean age = 8.7 ± 2.2 yrs. Intervention: 59.3% boys; 38.9% low family SES; 81% lived in Play Streets boundaries, 19% lived nearby the Play Streets area. Non-equivalent pre-posttest design (both groups): accelerometers (8 days: 4 days non-Play Streets week, 4 days Play Streets week or vice versa); parent pre-post questionnaire Play Streets: Prohibit car traffic and have street(s) open for children’s play, mainly to encourage free play. Play Streets (n = 19) included in study were held for at least 7 consecutive days from 2 to 7 pm in July and/or Aug. 2013 (Play Streets could happen a max of 14 total days in July and/or Aug., consecutive or not). 3 volunteers mandatory/Play Street, could “hire” for free a box of play equipment from city council, other play materials, hire an organized activity by city council, or organize activities themselves.
Play Streets-style intervention with temporary closure of a street or parking lot
 McGlone (2016) [22] Melbourne, Australia (Albert Park: affluent suburb of Melbourne) Pop-up Park users Semi-structured Child interviews n = 20) Focus groups: children n = 9, adults n = 7 Child interviews: 5–12 yrs. Child interviews: 75% female (n = 15) Focus groups: child 77.8% female (n = 7), adults 100% female (n = 7); local residents and staff of Albert Park Primary School Cross-sectional: teacher semi-structured interviews; 2 focus groups (adult and child) Pop-up Park: 12–24 month trial (beginning July 2013) of a pop-up Park near a primary school, open at all times to the general public.
 Espinoza et al. (2012) [42] Santa Ana, CA
Specific neighborhood (92,701 zip code of Santa Ana, CA) that lacked access to indoor recreation, exercise facility, or outdoor play area (>  70% lived ≥20 min from one of these locations).
N = 24 families with children ages 6–14 yrs Children: 53% were 6–10 yrs Children: 53% male; 84% Latino/Hispanic; 92% annual income < $30,000; 88% lived in an apartment Cross-sectional: non-random area sampling Mobile Physical Activity Unit (MPAU): Abandoned bus was renovated and filled with playground equipment to create a MPAU, which was intended to “bring the playground” to participating families and allow children an opportunity to play in a safe and supervised environment. MPAU driven to a single school every Tuesday evening from 4 pm–6 pm and Saturday mornings from 10 am-12 pm for a total of 12 weeks. Children were assigned to one of two groups for play: 6–10 yrs. old and 11–14 yrs. old (given colored jerseys corresponding to each age group). Children could participate in a total of 3 different games and/or activities (selected and supervised by the research team and volunteers) along with 30 min of free play. Drinks and orange slices were provided.
  1. NR not reported, yr(s) year(s), hr(s) hour(s), n sample size, SD standard deviation, approx. approximately, ‘~’ approximately, CA California, SES socioeconomic status, UK United Kingdom, US United States
  2. Note. Based on a systematic literature review conducted on peer-reviewed intervention studies published worldwide, in English, through December 2017 that documented free-to-access Play Streets or other temporary spaces that incorporated a designated play area (Play Streets-style interventions)