An Inclusive and Approachable Skatepark
A publicly-accessible skatepark to address low life expectancy in Franklinton, OH relevent to their demographic of low income residents by providing a space for physical activity offered at an inexpensive price point with available rentals. Providing legal spaces to skate reduces ticketing and negative law enforcement interactions with skaters to create safer public spaces by redirecting skaters to a designated space. Uniquely inclusive park design for all riders and ability levels would draw in tourism to increase city revenue and improve city infrastructure. A profitable skate spectation bar would capture sales from travelers utilizing the neighboring transportation hub to fund ongoing park maintenance.
As a neighbor to Franklinton, Ohio and skater I'm all too aware of the lack of skate spaces in this city battling poverty, low life expectancy, and increased crime rates. In the late 80's, a spike in skating was met with police control and criminalization, spurring a huge public demand for local legal skate spaces. In 1990 the residents won with the construction of one of the first public, concrete skateparks in America - Dodge Skatepark. An imperfect solution, a pay-per-use structure and required identification materials fostered segregation and racism in the park. Over 30 years later, the park is free for all but has received little to no maintenance resulting in unsafe conditions that even local professional skateboarders avoid. After much research, interviewing local skaters and studying similar community parks projects, Loop takes a second look at skate spaces in Franklinton, offering a public indoor skatepark to bring affordable and inclusive activity to this community year-round. Connected to a mobility hub next door, the park would be funded by a bar frequented by travelers spectating the unique action sport.