IN: Inspiration

ON BOARD

Concrete, and a civic vision, have transformed a derelict urban zone into a vibrant skateboard park.

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Barely two years ago, the dodgy space under the Jutland Avenue and Mill St Bridge in lower Gardens, Cape Town, was unsafe, abandoned and littered with debris – human and otherwise. But the disused overpass has thankfully realized its full potential.

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According to Gerrit Strydom of the City of Cape Town, who entered the concept into the competition: “For the project to be selected as the winning submission, not only serves to internationally recognise the merit of the project in itself, but stands testament to the importance and value of the broader dialogue about the abundant opportunities for activating difficult public spaces for the benefit of a diverse set of users. By elevating the status and awareness of the project the award will stimulate the proliferation of similar initiatives across the metropolitan region and cities in South Africa.”

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Let’s hope so! For now, there’s no doubt that this formerly “difficult” space has been activated positively. Ever since it opened the park has enjoyed a steady stream of “shredders” of all ages, who enjoy free entry. The uplifting change is undeniable.

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Gardens Skate Park is constructed almost entirely of concrete and the layout was designed by Clive Crofton of Spyda Ramps. The fenced-in, well-lit rink features all the bells and whistles, such as a variety of slopes and curves as well as a pipe to test the skills of the patrons.

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The opening of the skate park was a significant first for Cape Town and was the subject of a documentary film that became a finalist in the 2014/2015 PPC Imaginarium.

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