This guidance has been produced to provide a broad overview for the many considerations that a Local Authority needs to address when looking at the feasibility of developing local Skateparks.
As part of considerations, importance should be attached to compliance with ‘BS EN 14974:2019 – Skateparks – safety requirements and test methods’.
This document applies to skateparks for public use intended for the use of skateboards, other roller sports equipment and BMX bikes.
It specifies safety requirements and requirements for testing and marking, information supplied by the manufacturer, and information for users. It also addresses inspection and maintenance regimes to protect users and third parties (e.g. spectators) from hazards, as far as possible, when using a skatepark as intended, or as can be reasonably expected.
This standard does not apply to bike facilities modelled from ground, gravel or rock.
Skateboarding has been a recreational activity within the UK for many years. Yet in some areas it remains confined to almost derelict or unused areas. This is seen by some as leading to conflict with certain communities and yet others who have embraced the culture by providing dedicated areas suggest that it has many positive influences including reducing crime, and young person’s involvement in criminality particularly, increasing creativity in developing minds and lowering childhood obesity levels.
With skateboarding included for the first time at the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo, there is an even greater onus on local authorities to consider providing dedicated facilities locally as the sport may potentially increase in popularity.
As the Independent recognises in its piece on skateboarding, ‘Skateboarding defies the neoliberal logic of the city by making it a playground for all’ Skateboarding has transcended to new levels and is now ‘no longer just for punkish, subcultural rebels – it’s everywhere, for everyone’.
For any local authority planning on either developing or receiving planning approvals for a development it is essential that there are two principle and important areas to focus on:
Examples of usability would include such aspects as:
Examples of Functionality would include:
For a park to become a success it requires both of these aspects to be integrated into any design recognising that this is a simple recreational area that should attract people to it so it must be both visually and functionally attractive.
The design must cater for high demand levels. A park that only allows one skater to use it at a time is unlikely to be successful and so designers need to create various ‘zones’ to allow for different types of skateboarding to be possible simultaneously.
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