The City's Physical Influence on Skateboarding and Park Design

This piece from <em>Urban Omnibus</em> looks at how underutilized parts of the built environment are embraced by the skateboard community, and how those urban aspects are often co-opted into skatepark design.
April 10, 2010, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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Skatepark designer Buck Jackson reflects on the role architecture and infrastructure play in the skateboarding community.

"Sometimes, the spaces that inspire skaters the most are those that seem designed by default, or at least not intended to be used in this way. Other times, specific design interventions intended to discourage skaters' 'abuse' only make a skater's experience more enjoyable because of the added difficulty. But no matter the architect or city planner's original intention, if the designed form works for skaters, often it will be re-appropriated into skatepark design. This system – skaters appropriating parts of the built environment for their own uses to invent and test tricks and then skatepark designers appropriating what works into purpose-built skatepark design and construction – is essential to skateboarding. But the proliferation of skateparks being built today (estimated at three per day, nationwide) blurs the origin of the physical forms that define our sport."

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Published on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 in Urban Omnibus
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