Skaters shun parks

Skaters shun parks for concrete jungle

Australia’s Herald Sun has an article titled Skaters shun parks for concrete jungle that talks about how kids still don’t want to be confined to skateparks. While Melbourne is upping it’s skateboard deterrent budget to $50,000 a year, the city of Boroondara has an annual budget of $100,000 a year for skatepark development. 100k Australian is only about $86,000 in US dollars, but it’s still nothing to sneeze at. One of the popular street skating spots that kids keep barging is called Docklands, which near as I can tell is a redeveloped waterfront plaza that used to be, well, docks. The article mentions YouTube videos of Docklands, so I did a cursory search. There appears to be a nicely finished pedestrian park as well as a bunch of more industrial areas that appear to be abandoned or in disuse. You can watch a couple vids after the jump.

Docklands – Melbourne Australia

There’s fancy Docklands and ghetto Docklands. If you know of a better vid, send me the link and I’ll include it.

Fancy Docklands.

Australian TV Sports personality Sam Newman bitches out some skateboarders. See him get punched on TV here.

Ghetto Docklands

This one is my favorite. I’m a sucker for Bowie.

7 Comments

  1. Nice link Kilwag. I think that no matter how many and how good the parks are, skateboarders are always going to seek out natural terrain. My worry is that, more parks might mean more of an excuse for the authorities to crack down on skateboarding in public.

    That’s why I really like the French spots you posted a few days ago, whereby public art/space also serves as a legal skate spot. I think the next step for skateboard advocacy is to combine skate plazas/ skateparks with car free/ pedestrian friendly public space.

  2. That kid in the 3rd video asked a crucial question ‘What’s it for?’ to the reply ‘Never you mind, if you understood, you wouldn’t be skateboarding on it.’ Weird. I never understood why people get so hung up on a few little scratches on inanimate public structures…

  3. I think the next step for skateboard advocacy is to combine skate plazas/ skateparks with car free/ pedestrian friendly public spac

    Yeah, I really like that idea too, just like they did in Tacoma. (right?) I’d like to see more public spaces where you could skate without getting hassled. It requires a little maturity on the part of the street skater to be aware of the surroundings and to take responsibility for the possibility of colliding with pedestrians, but I think it can be done. I think it should be done.

    I’m also aware that a lot of smaller municipalities will build a crappy prefab parks and use that as justification for coming down hard on street skaters. It will require a major shift in thinking, but stranger things have happened, eh?

  4. The Leeside website has some plans (though not sure how current they are…) that show working in public walking space and skatepark terrain.

    The tunnel itself is an abandoned bus tunnel that Lee “Avers” Matasi and some friends shoveled the garbage out of so they had a place to skate, paint and hang out.

    The new plans for the memorial incorporate public space and skating space to some degree. Though it won’t be natural terrain by far.

    Maybe it’s a kindof start?

  5. http://www.leeside.ca/

    I forgot the website.

  6. It’s just time for architects, landscape designers, and parks commissions to realize that if they build something skateable, that it will be skated. It’s as simple as that. There are enough of us in the world now that it’s a legitimate consideration, and either build it to withstand the “abuse” (or be easily repaired), or change the design to be undesirable to skaters.

    Property managers and municipalities are spending money on security to keep skaters away from obstacles that they unwittingly created, so why not be a little more, uh, witting about it and put it on the list of criteria when the project is being briefed? We’re not going away, and we’re not always going to skate in the (sometimes) crappy park that they grudgingly put up to pen us in. Kudos to Tacoma, Winnipeg, and Paris for building beautiful, and skateable public spaces. Oh, almost forgot Portland (I think Holly qualifies).

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