Skateboarding has evolved from a subculture to a global phenomenon, and cities around the world are beginning to recognize the value of investing in their skateboarding communities. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why cities should consider allocating resources and support to develop skateparks and engage with the skateboarding community. We will also examine the global skateboard market and the sport’s Olympic recognition, highlighting the potential economic opportunities and cultural impact of skateboarding.
Skateboarding Cities: Inspiring Urban Development, Community Engagement, and Economic Growth Worldwide
19 July 2023 / By audreane
1. The Economic Potential:
The global skateboard market is projected to offer a revenue opportunity of $3.2 billion by 2028. This figure demonstrates the economic potential of the sport, attracting attention from investors, entrepreneurs, and local governments. Skateboarding has evolved from a niche activity to a mainstream industry, contributing to significant economic growth in various markets.
2. Olympic Recognition and Cultural Impact:
The inclusion of skateboarding in the Olympics has elevated the sport’s status and provided a platform to showcase the talent and creativity of skateboarders on a global scale. The Olympics have inspired cities to invest in skateboarding infrastructure and support local skateboarding communities, recognizing the cultural impact and global appeal of the sport.
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3. Physical Health and Well-being:
Investing in skateparks and supporting skateboarding programs promotes physical health and well-being among individuals. Skateboarding improves strength, flexibility, endurance, and overall fitness, providing accessible recreational opportunities that contribute to the well-being of residents.
4. Fostering Community Engagement:
Skateparks act as gathering spaces where people from diverse backgrounds can interact, bond, and build lasting friendships. By investing in skateboarding, cities foster social connections, encourage inclusivity, and strengthen community ties, creating a sense of belonging and engagement among residents. Community skateboarding events like the JACKALOPE Block Party exemplify this spirit by inviting local athletes to participate and offering the top male and female skateboarders the opportunity to competing in JACKALOPE Montreal, further reinforcing the sense of community and camaraderie within the skateboarding culture.
5. Positive Youth Development:
Skateboarding offers a constructive outlet for self-expression, personal growth, and skill development among young people. By engaging youth through instructional programs, camps, and events, cities promote confidence, resilience, and leadership skills, contributing to positive youth development. For instance, the Annie Guglia clinic at Vans Park last summer as part of the Dime Glory Challenge exemplifies this approach by providing an opportunity for kids to learn from a professional skateboarder, fostering their growth, and inspiring them to pursue their passion for skateboarding.
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6. Economic Growth and Entrepreneurship:
Well-designed skateparks and skateboarding events attract visitors, stimulate local businesses, and boost tourism. Skateboarding scenes cultivate entrepreneurship, with skate shops, schools, and events providing opportunities for small businesses and local talent. Skateboarding competitions and events attract sponsors, media coverage, and international attention, bolstering the economic benefits for cities.
7. Enhancing Public Spaces:
Skateparks transform underutilized spaces into vibrant recreational hubs, revitalizing neglected areas and creating aesthetically pleasing environments. They serve as focal points for urban redevelopment, attracting residents and encouraging further investment in surrounding areas. The Vans Park in Montreal is a prime example of this transformation, made possible through a partnership between the Olympic Park and a sponsorship from Vans.
As Alex Auchu, Marketing Director at Vans Canada, stated, “The goal is to provide riders of all ages and abilities with quality facilities where they can move, express themselves and develop their creativity. By combining creativity and sport, we believe that skateboarding can contribute to maintaining good physical and mental health. Thanks to the diversity of obstacles and modules, we want to offer Montrealers the chance to immerse themselves in skateboarding culture, whether they’re already part of the Montreal skateboarding community, interested in trying it for the first time, or just want to watch.”
This collaboration not only showcases the positive impact of skateboarding on the community but also highlights how skateparks can enhance the overall urban landscape and create inclusive spaces for people to gather and engage in a dynamic cultural activity.
8. Promoting Creativity and Expression:
Skateboarding is an art form that fosters creativity, individuality, and self-expression. Skateparks become platforms for skateboarders to showcase their skills, style, and unique approach to the sport, contributing to the cultural vibrancy of neighborhoods. Additionally, cities have recognized the potential of skatepark structures as art installations and have invited the community to participate in embellishing them. For example, in Kamloops, BC, a local artist designed the watermelon mural that now covers the bowl, adding a playful and visually striking element that reflects the community’s creativity and adds to the unique character of the skatepark.
@jackalopefest When life gives you melons… 🍉 skater: @rollfastgethigh #melongrab #melon #watermelon #bowl #kamloops #jackalopefest #jackalopeblockparty #britishcolumbia #bc #canada ♬ I Think I Like When It Rains – WILLIS
Investing in the skateboarding community brings numerous benefits to cities, including urban development, community engagement, and economic growth. By recognizing and valuing skateboarding as a legitimate recreational activity, cities can create inclusive, vibrant, and dynamic communities that cater to the diverse needs and interests of their residents. Vancouver, Toronto, and Melbourne, among other cities worldwide, are harnessing the power of skateboarding to transform their urban landscapes, engage their communities, and tap into the significant revenue opportunities offered by the global skateboard market. By embracing skateboarding and investing in skateparks, cities can create vibrant, inclusive spaces that inspire individuals, strengthen communities, and drive economic prosperity for years to come.
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