“Skateboard Urbanism” Could Change Park Planning

“Skateboard Urbanism” Could Change Park Planning
Paine’s Park in Philadelphia / © AP Photo-Matt Rourke

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“skateboard urbanism” could change park planning
Paine’s Park in Philadelphia / © AP Photo-Matt Rourke

We may be nearing the day where skateboard urbanism is a thing. This urbanism would be interesting and tasked with a lot: public spaces and skateways that can accommodate a sport for both forward movement and stunts, while not scaring away mothers out for walks with their children.

“The pendulum of history is swinging back towards cities now,” says Dubin. “This is a challenge that cities are facing: How do you incorporate skateboarding and people who want to engage in the activity into the urban landscape in a cohesive and comprehensive way?”

When making their case for more skateparks, the Seattle Skate Park Advisory Committee started crunching numbers. Three years prior, the near-demolition of the cherished Ballard Bowl had planted the seeds for SPAC’s establishment. The local skateboarding community rallied to save the bowl, their protests and petitions pushing the city council to formally recognize skateboarding in a resolution in 2006, as well as support the creation of a skatepark system. So in 2007, SPAC analyzed the data on how much square footage other sports could claim in the city’s public facilities. Tennis, with 44,507 local participants, had 369,600 total square feet of courts. Soccer, with 42,253 players, had 3,996,000 square feet of pitch. Skateboarding though, with 29,295 participants, only had 31,500 square feet. []


  1. Some kids still want to play outside or are looking for an enjoyable ride home. We need to convert more streets and plazas into linear skate routes. It’s time to rethink anti-skateboard laws and start removing skate deterrent metal guards.


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