Councillor Nicola Young took another shot at kids skateboarding around Wellington yesterday.[tweet https://twitter.com/nmjyoung/status/615298019815133184]
She cites damage as her concern, but her previous comments had shown a desire to keep skateboarders in the skate parks, which strikes me as elitist.
The spaces we create present opportunities, but often take on lives of their own as people explore. It’s not up to designers, nor councillors, to enforce use of a space after it’s been put in place.
The argument of damage caused is valid to an extent, but we should expect that kids are going to be looking for parks and furniture that present opportunities. They’re carrying a skateboard and they’ll use it whenever they can. We know that damage will happen and we should design for it.[tweet https://twitter.com/sustwelltrans/status/615307899498311680]
The attitudes that Councillor Young display are, in my opinion, anachronistic and deserve to be challenged. I’d like to see some of the school-aged skateboarders pick this up as a school project. The skate parks that are in place are too few and lack the capacity for the skateboarding population around Wellington. It would be easy to show with population statistics and a measure of the capacity of the existing skate parks. If anyone takes this up, I’d be more than happy to publish as a guest post.