I recently watched an interesting piece (WMV stream) on the Discovery Channel about a ‘skate plaza’ in Kettering, Ohio. As I understand it, a skate plaza replicates the urban elements (railings, cement planters and so forth) employed by (often maligned) street skateboarders, but in a park setting.
As the video explains, the designer visited all of his favourite skating spots and took detailed measurements. Then he replicated and improved those spots in this multi-use park. And, of course, nobody is adding little metal bumps or anti-skateboard obstacles to this park.
I like the idea, because it eliminates the skate park ghetto, and integrates skateboarders and non-skateborders in a place where it’s acceptable to practice the sport and just hang out.