Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mixing Portland civics + skateboarders = "skateboarding capital of the world!"

Portland's Skate signs

An article published today in the Wall street journal gives you a glimpse of what the future will look like when skateboarders grow up and go into politics.

Thanks to Tom Miller and a active passionate skate community, Portland has not 1 skate park but 19 proposed skate parks! And they have trails with little skater stick-figure dudes letting you know when you are entering a skateboarding area (see above). Note: Portland also has a smaller population then Memphis.

Their master plan includes 13 neighborhood skate spots, 5 district parks ( similar in size to our proposed public skate park for Midtown Memphis) and one large Downtown Anchor park. Message to Memphis Park and Recreation: Large anchor skate parks play their own unique role just as stadiums do for other sports.

This seems a bit over the top but Portland's parks department is simply responding to the national demand for skateboarding facilities. Portlands Mayor says it best " the power of the city’s skate community comes mostly from the sport’s growing numbers. Portland’s parks department was pumping out services that were based on antiquated views."

Parting shot: Skaterboarders are growing up and when they become of age, you will see more successful cities taking on similar strategies.

Notes: Portland population was 578,000 in 2008 as compared to our Memphis population of 670,000. Tells you there is a little room for just one public skatepark and a big park on Mud Island. Take notice Memphis and prepare accordingly for the future.

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