Mystery Map byLiz LaManche in East Boston, 2018

“When we add playfulness to untraditional spaces, we increase learning and resilience habits across the City.”

“Whether it’s on a sidewalk, at the bus stop, on the route to work, or at the laundromat, we are spending more and more time looking at small screens. We’re also spending less time interacting with those around us. We want you to be able to reimagine your space so that it becomes a venue for you to make connections. To your neighbors. To yourself. To your inner child. To the environment around you.”

–New Urban Mechanics

The 2018 Public Space Invitational contest by the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, called “Play Around the City,” was aimed at enriching a series of urban locations used by children. Inviting temporary interventions with a limited budget, the goal of the program was to add fun and interactivity to several plain street corners where many young people wait for their school buses each day. This location is on the corner of Saratoga and Prescott streets in East Boston.

Permission to play

“I believe that if you give them rules, children make up their own anyway. My project presents the kids with a board- or map-like layout, with routes almost like the London Underground map, and several different kinds of stops where something might happen. The rest is theirs to make up! Any number of people of any age can interact with this.” –Liz LaManche

Mystery Map was installed in East Boston by Liz LaManche in 2018.

Featured in the publication “Designing Streets For Kids” (p.45)