UBC Graduate Research

Skateparks vs. The City Ross, Nathan


Public space plays a fundamental role in creating the high quality of life enjoyed in cities. However as cities grow, so too do our demands of this limited shared resource. Ideas of what is permissible in public space is a highly contentious topic, with fringe activities typically pushed out in favour of less obtrusive uses. Skateboarding is a prime example of an activity that has a wide range of benefits for the city but continues to be actively excluded in the design of public space through the use of defensive architectures. As designers of the public realm, landscape architects have an obligation to design more inclusive public space and approach tensions of cohabitation as an opportunity rather than a threat. This project redefines the city of Vancouver as a skate-city and integrates skate-friendly public space design into multiple locations across the downtown core. In doing so, this project hopes to expand conventional notions of acceptable use in pursuit of a more inclusive design ethic.

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