Addicted to novelty since 2001

Skate Plaza: City Park Meets Skate Park

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.

5 Responses to “Skate Plaza: City Park Meets Skate Park”

  1. darren

    Double: Maybe I haven’t made the differentiation clear. The skate plaza (follow the link for photos) looks like a park (it has landscaping) and is in a desirable location. Non-skateboarders would be attracted to this space.

    Most ‘skate parks’–including the one under the Georgia Viaduct–are highly ghettoized. Their locations are unattractive (is there an uglier spot for a skateboard park than the one we’re discussing) and are for skateboarders only.

    I like this approach because it replicates the urban environment that skateboarders want while offering something to the rest of the population as well.

  2. darren

    NorthVanDan: Interesting. Still a bit of a ghetto, next to the highway like that, and no landscaping, but not bad. There are a bunch of photos here:

    http://www.coastalbc.com/skate/lonsdale.htm

    Don’t know how old you are, but back in the eighties I believe that used to be a BMX course.

  3. double-plus-ungood

    like this approach because it replicates the urban environment that skateboarders want while offering something to the rest of the population as well.

    Ah ha, gotcha.

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