Playing Outdoors: The importance of the city as a playground for skateboarding and parkour

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Abstract

The city, its streets, and its buildings make an ideal playground for skateboarders and freerunners. At the same time, the mostly teenage, mostly male participants in those activities are regarded by civic authorities as a problem. That attitude is part of a general antipathy to young people out on the streets, who are often assumed to be causing a nuisance. We present insights from working with skateboarders and freerunners in Newcastle upon Tyne and Tyneside, an urban conurbation in North East England, that reveal the significance that playing outdoors has for these young people. We also show how they value the city and the autonomy, friendships, and feel-good experience they enjoy there. Playing outdoors is a vital, positive part of their lives that cities should embrace.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBank Street Occasional Papers
Volume30
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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