How To Design Skateparks

Skateboarders turn into landscape architects to design skateparks that will appeal to fellow skaters.
November 5, 2004, 12pm PST | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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"By the late '90s, cities began to recognize that instead of constantly chasing skateboarders away from property, it was more cost-effective to build areas where skateboarding was not a crime...

Ryan was studying architecture in college, and both of us had built numerous skateboard ramps over the years. So we came up with the name Urban Creation and created a four-color brochure that we sent to every parks-and-rec director in the state. Our aspirations weren't huge; I certainly wasn't looking to make skatepark design a career. This was simply a preemptive strike against crappy skateparks -- and we thought we might even collect some money in the process...

The trick to putting together a good skatepark is to organize all of the obstacles in such a way that they can be hit in a series, in what skaters call 'flow' or 'lines.'

Smaller towns often spend much less than their larger counterparts on skateparks that are just as good, if not better, than those in big cities.

One of the advantages to hiring landscape architects, Pearson insists, is that they're familiar with public-use projects in larger cities, where conflicting needs of the government, the community and the users can often develop into contentious debate."

Thanks to Urbification

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Published on Thursday, October 28, 2004 in Westways
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