Tag Archives: Francisco Vivonia

Skateboarders: Unsung Social Heroes

dailyn

Have you ever considered the social relevance of skateboarding?  An article out this week looks at the impact that skateboarders have on our physical and social environments.

I love the fact that people are out there studying this stuff.

The paper, published in Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, basically says that we should take skateboarders more seriously.  It explains how skateboarders “ascribe new meanings and pleasures to otherwise mundane built forms,”  declaring that skaters have created an “alternative ethic of care for built environments… that transforms ordinary urban spaces into temporary autonomous play zones.”

The author, focusing on the skate scene in Chicago, write: An alternative sustainability model emerges from waxing ledges and other spatial tactics that seek to care for built environments through play….Waxing ledges contributes to a vision of the city that fosters collective uses and creative experimentations with built environments. Unintended pleasurable engagements with architectural forms challenge prescribed uses by welcoming unexpected encounters. Furthermore, waxing ledges fosters communal land-use practices…Skate boarders scout, usurp, and maintain spots of spatial desire by practising an ethic of care for the built environment that transforms ordinary urban spaces into temporary autonomous play zones . The spaces crafted through the ethic of care outlined above are both subject to an urban politics of disciplined accommodation and figure as groundwork towards resistance to punitive spatial regulation.  

Read more here.

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