Implementing Play Streets in Low-Income Rural Communities in the United States

Keshia M. Pollack Porter, Christina N. Bridges Hamilton, M. Renée Umstattd Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Play streets involve the temporary closure of streets that for a specified time create a safe place for active play. Play streets have been implemented primarily in cities; it is unknown if they could be adapted and implemented in rural areas. To learn about implementation, core components of play streets and inform adaptation, we conducted systematic peer-reviewed and grey literature searches and interviews with a purposive sample of key informants. Data were analyzed by theme and used to inform implementation of play streets by four community organizations in low-income rural areas of Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas from June to September 2017. Core elements of play streets in urban areas were present in rural settings—the content (e.g., activities offered), delivery of the intervention in partnership with community members and local organizations, and reoccurrence of play streets at a single location. There were three key adaptations relating to delivery and context to consider uniquely when implementing play streets in rural areas (1) using locations other than streets, (2) varying locations to account for geographic dispersion, and (3) maximizing participation and resources by coupling play streets with community events. Play streets can be successfully implemented in rural settings with these modifications, which support feasibility, reach, and access. Play streets in rural areas should include activities for active play that are age-appropriate and fun, without necessarily tailoring content for rural areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-374
Number of pages3
JournalHealth promotion practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022


  • child/adolescent health
  • community intervention
  • physical activity
  • rural health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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