Appropriating the city on skateboard

I am writing about how we appropriate city space and make the city our own.  How we all have the possibility to act against the planned environment.  Skateboarders are the ultimate challengers of the built space in cities.

Iain Borden is Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture and Director of the Bartlett School of Architecture at the University College of London. In the article “An affirmation of urban life- Skateboarding and socio-spatial censorship in the late twentieth century city”. Iain discusses the culture of skateboarding in context of city culture and offers us some insight into the thinking of both skaters and city planners:

Skateboarding can be regarded as a metaphor for creatively using public space. A socio-spatial practice, it shuns the conventions of urban life. The repressive measures taken as a result say much about the changing role of public space in our society today. Iain Borden calls for a more sympathetic perception.

Cities are always places of contestation and contradiction, conflict and counter-cultural engagements. While some architects and planners seem to want to homogenize the city, rendering it into a uniform plane of public squares, promenades and polite cafés, there will always be others who want to make noise or be silent, pursue sex or read philosophy, ride motor-cycles or sun-bathe; the rhythm of suits-on-weekdays and sweaters-on-Sundays will always be interwoven by those quietly yet determinedly making their own lives in countless different subtle yet explicit ways. For this is urban life. Read more….

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