Posted by: ginalismgateway | February 17, 2010

We want it, but we want it to be profitable and safe.

-Written and photo by Gina Lee

Give skateboards a space to roll

There are countless good reasons to have parks and public spaces in community. Parks create eco-friendly environments, bring local people out from their houses, let them have playful time outside, and give people positive energy. Although people are well aware of numerous benefits that the new skate park will bring to the community, eventually it’s all about the money. People will not be very happy about this $500,000 project if it doesn’t promise any economical return, or limited return to those people who are involved in the skateboard business. “We expected it to be a destination of skate park,” said Emily Proudfoot, city landscape architect of Eugene. The government is hoping the new skate park to attract not only local skate boarder, but also people from everywhere. The visitors won’t just come skateboard and leave, so we could expect they would bring positive economic effects to local community.

The most important thing that government should take care of is the public safety issue. There were negative perceptions toward public spaces because there have been many small and big criminal accidents happening in public spaces. Last year a homeless man was killed by two other homeless people in Skinner Butte Park. Marcus Triest, who has been skateboarding for almost 6 years, wondered “how many skateboarders who regularly skateboard or who wants to start skateboarding will visit the park” where negative people are “living.” Emily has a full understanding of this concern and she mentioned about a “Public Safety Strategy” that will make changes to Washington- Jefferson Park area, which currently is “not safe” and “not pleasant.” Cooperating with Eugene police and relocating the playground and the restroom is a part of the Public Safety Strategy. Moreover, they are thinking of using webcams around park area for both a security and a marketing purpose.

What the public wants to have in its community is not just a covered space to skateboard. They want the skate park to be  profitable to the community and, of course, safe to use. Emily stressed that they are putting great efforts to deal with public safety issue and to make it economically beneficial; however, in the end, “it’s really more about the community taking ownership of their own park.”

Eugene Park and Open Space- Benefits of Parks and Open Space

Trust in Public Space- Parks & Economics/ Financing

Register Guard- Money is crucial to covered skate park

More from Interview with Emily Proudfoot

Register Guard- Two men arrested in killing at park


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