Skateboard urbanism : an exploration of skateboarding as an integrated part of public space

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från SLU/Dept. of Urban and Rural Development

Sammanfattning: Skateboarding is a practice that happens both in dedicated skateparks and in the public places of the city; two very different types of environments. While skateboarding in skateparks rarely poses problems due to their purpose-designed nature, skateboarding in the shared spaces of the city has not generally been encouraged and is often designed against. However, recent trends in planning for skateboard infrastructure show that many cities are now recognizing skateboarders as a positive part of urban life and seek to integrate skateboarding into urban public space. This trend of integrating skateboarding into the city has been called “Skateboard urbanism”. The aim of this thesis is to provide deeper understanding of how skateboarding can be integrated into urban public space by planning and design. Further it aims to provide insight into important characteristics of popular urban skate spots and what added values theses spaces can generate. To succeed in this, qualitative methodologies such as interviews, literature studies, site observations and case studies have been used to provide insight into different aspects of the topic. The results in this thesis mainly represent the skaters perspective on the matter, which should be kept in mind when reading. The first chapter, “Skateboarding”, investigates skateboarding as a wide concept. Chapter two, "Skateboarding & the city", describes how skateboarders interact with the city and how this differs from skateboarding in dedicated skateparks. In chapter three, “Integrated designs”, important characteristics of urban “skate spots” are outlined and practical examples of these places are analysed. The fourth chapter, “Added value”, describes what added values public places with an integrated skate-function can generate. Chapter five, “Skate-friendly cities”, provides insight into how cities work with integrating skateboarding into the public spaces of the city. The outcome of the research in the first five chapters was presented in a sixth and final chapter, “Planning suggestions”. Here my reflections and ideas based on the results outlines aspects and tips for city staffers and landscape architects to consider when planning and designing for integrating skateboarding in the public spaces of the city.

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