Skateboarders Help Transform Urban Environments


Skateboarding culture is often (wrongly) lumped together with criminal behaviour amongst youth. To those that still think that way, you should check out a study in the most recent Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability.

By looking at what young skateboarders would do in the city of Chicago the researchers found out that skateboarding culture is a great thing for urban environments. It’s good to see a positive take on a group of people who often get brushed aside.

Young people appropriate and redefine built environments through their everyday playful practices. Among a widening spectrum of young city dwellers, skateboarders transform urban spaces by exploring terrains and performing unforeseen uses. These urban explorations ascribe new meanings and pleasures to otherwise mundane built forms. Waxing ledges is a ubiquitous practice among skateboarders that signals creative appropriation through the application of wax on rough surfaces. The smoothening of ledges enables speed and exhilaration, while the traces engraved on the urban landscape communicate to other skateboarders a pleasurable space.

Read the abstract and full article here.