Closing streets in Libreville for children to play

Libreville lacks dedicated play areas for young children, and streets are typically unsafe for them to play on. However, there is a tradition in Gabon of closing streets for a few hours for certain ceremonies, such as marriage celebrations. This raises the question of whether streets could also be periodically closed for children to play.

The project will trial the idea of closing identified streets on certain days to organise games and play for young children, potentially involving movable structures such as sand pits. A movie will be produced to showcase how the idea works.

Update on the project

Update, January 2019: Two ‘Streets for Play’ sessions were held on St Grignon de Montford road, in April 2018 and January 2019, and one in Malibe in the north of Libreville. There was a tent, refreshments and activities such as painting and a bouncy castle, involving around 200 children and 30 adults. One parent expressed the hope that it would become a “lasting and recurring event”.

The goal is to obtain from the Council a monthly road closure, though some challenges need to be overcome – notably persuading more parents to stay rather than leaving their children, putting on activities for older siblings, and gaining the acceptance of local drivers.