Friday, March 02, 2007

Defensible Skateboarding!

I saw this post over at today. Its about little plates, rails, and concrete blocks they are putting on benches and other raised structures. In particular, the Embarcadero in San Francisco, which was an AWESOME skate spot...featured in many skateboard highlight movies, including two movies that played a pretty important role in my high-school/college days; Hokus Pokus, and Shackle Me Not (both H-street vids).

It reminded me of my friend Dave's website, where he has a regular theme called "the anti-sit".

These things are all over denver too, There aren't any "anti-sits" that I've seen, but there are plenty of "anti-skates".

Anyhow, the blogger speaks to a larger issue here. I'm certainly not the one to be able to discuss it well, Dave would be better suited, but the question is this: These things look like shit. Personally I think they look worse than long waxed and scraped up benches that skateboarders make (of course, I'm also an aging skatebaorder). But, Is this how urban planning will continue? rather than designing your city to incorporate public elements to be naturally unsuited for skateboarding or other activities like it, most cities put up these defensive elements that look like total shit.

and its not just brackets on benches, in most of the downtown parks in denver, they've replaced the polished concrete of the parks with cinder gravels to inhibit skateboard wheels from rolling down into the parks to begin with.

It'd be really cool to see new elements and city designs rather than anti-skates and anti-sits.

of course the converse question is will skateboarders and their ilk just find away to change their styles to conform to what city designers put into use?

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