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How Skate Parks Can Transform Urban Areas

How Skate Parks Can Transform Urban Areas

Nowadays, skateparks seem to be the new form of the traditional town squares we all remember visiting during our childhood and adolescence years. It’s not surprising that more and more people gather in this type of park to meet with their friends, spend their evening and, of course, practice sports like skating, roller-skating, and BMX

Nowadays, skateparks seem to be the new form of the traditional town squares we all remember visiting during our childhood and adolescence years. It’s not surprising that more and more people gather in this type of park to meet with their friends, spend their evening and, of course, practice sports like skating, roller-skating, and BMX racing.

Recently I found out that Thessaloniki, Greece, has many skate park lovers, a fact that is obvious by the numerous skate parks that have been created in the last few years. The most popular seems to be the “What’s up Park,” located in the centre of the city. When I visited the place, I totally understood why young people would enjoy spending their free time there.  The place gave me this sense of freedom that only a successful landscape design can create. The only things you can find there are some simple benches, surrounding an open space with a couple of skate ramps.

Northpark, Indoor Skatpark in Thessaloniki, Greece

In accordance “he that seeketh findeth,” I asked one of the boys who was riding a BMX bike there for more information regarding the city skate parks, and they informed me that there is one in the renovated part of the New Waterfront of Thessaloniki. It would definitely be a great experience practicing a sport like skating, so exhilarating and liberating, near the sea, and with a spectacular view of the city.

New Square in Thermi, Thessaloniki, Greece

Another really interesting project for the skate park lovers is the new town square of Thermi, an area in the east side of Thessaloniki, where the architects seem to have incorporated skate ramps in the general architectural design. Thessaloniki also recently obtained “Northpark,” an indoor skatepark fully equipped for fans of skateboarding, BMX, flatland BMX, dirt bikes, and rollerblades. There is also qualified staff that can train both beginners and advanced students alike. Sounds really tempting!

Is there a skatepark in your city that you enjoy visiting?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

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Dafni Dimitriadi is a student of Architecture at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Her numerous experiences in participating in architectural competitions have helped her understand the importance of research and design. She is interest...

  • Mitsos

    ( E nai.Auto malista.)

    Really nice article.

    • http://www.theglobalgrid.org Dafni Dimitriadi

      Thank you Mitsos ! It means a lot to me.

  • Paulina López

    In Mexico city, many places were ameliorate by constructing skate parks that allows young people in those areas to have infrastructure for their activities. Those areas used to be dangerous places, were young people consumed drugs or alcohol. After those parks were constructed many thing got better, and the number of assaults or agression dropped in an important way.

    • http://www.theglobalgrid.org Dafni Dimitriadi

      Paulina thank you a lot for your comment ! It is true that many places have been completely transformed , when a new use is proposed. Especially this kind of parks, seem to succeed every time in upgrading whole areas of a city.

  • http://kiaralab.wordpress.com Asso

    This article justify my hypothesis about the benefits of skatepark as a tool for improving urban area. Thanks!

    • http://www.theglobalgrid.org Dafni Dimitriadi

      Dear Asso, I’m really glad for your comment. Thank you.

  • http://kiaralab.wordpress.com Asso

    Do you have any reference of transforming overpass’ vault into skate-able park?

  • http://www.theglobalgrid.org Dafni Dimitriadi

    Asso, I’m not really sure if you mean transforming the bridge or the space under a bridge into a skatepark. If you mean the second one, there are many examples , like in the city of Vancouver, or in Belfast, that are really popular. If you are looking for examples in Greece, let me know, and I’ll search a bit more.

  • Charlotte G.

    Not a skater myself… I had never thought that skate parks could adorn a city’s landscape! Very interesting article, thanks!

    • http://www.theglobalgrid.org Dafni Dimitriadi

      Dear Charlotte, first of all i would really like to thank you for your comment. Visiting a skatepark is definitely a way to find out if you like the sport. If you don’t, like in my case, I’m pretty sure you’ll definetely love the vibe .

  • http://www.northleedsgardendesign.co.uk/ Landscape Gardeners Leeds

    This is a realy great article. A lot of planners in our area could learn from this when regecting park proposals. With a little care and attentive landscaping, any park can look great. thanks for the article.

    • http://www.theglobalgrid.org Dafni Dimitriadi

      A huge thank you “Landscape Gardeners of Leeds” for your comment. When it comes to landscape design, we should take every activity into consideration and think through the eyes of the visitors, the actual users. It’s not “the more complicated, the better.” Simple things can really change the image of the cities, in which we live. Again, thank you a lot for your comment.

  • Sofía Bojórquez

    Dafni, im a student of architechture too. Im mexican and were i live there are almost none skateparks and i really find this kind of areas the perfect way to promote physical activities, specially in here the country with most childhood obesity. Im presenting a proposal in my city to build a skatepark, if you have any information to help me convice them i would really apreciate it! thank you, i really liked your article!

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