Chicago – During a recent speech before community members and leaders, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans to invest in hundreds of parks, playgrounds and recreational spaces throughout the city.

Over the next five years the Chicago Park District plans to repair, refurbish and rebuild approximately 300 such spaces in the greater Chicago area, the largest and most comprehensive effort of its kind in the nation, according to reports.

“Throughout Chicago, we’ll invest in better public spaces and build stronger communities,” Emanuel said in a statement, “The 300 playgrounds we are rebuilding in every neighborhood will be a catalyst for a better quality of life and higher standard of living for every Chicagoan.”

Immediate work plans of the “Chicago Plays” program include the renovation of 50 playgrounds by November 2013, as well as the development four new parks in the city with features such as dog runs, walking trails and fountains.

As part of the Chicago Plays initiative, Emanuel noted during his speech that no child in Chicago would live more than a ten-minute walk from a fully functioning neighborhood park.