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From the Mayor's Desk: Boris Stands Up for Skaters

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Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
2/24/2014 1:58:27 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Pizzagate
Apparently eating pizza with a fork can turn out to be a good thing, if you're mayor -- that fork ended up being auctioned off for $2,500, and the money is going to a charity that supports wounded soldiers and first responders. More here.

sunshine
sunshine  
2/5/2014 7:16:06 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Skateboarders
I wouldn't take the 2oth Century Society too seriously on this one, they just want to draw a parallel - yes there are plenty of good examples of additions to well loved buildings but in this case the extent of change (supposedly needed) suggests that demolition would be a better option

sunshine
sunshine  
2/5/2014 7:04:14 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Skateboarders
It seems Boris's intervention may be a show stopper .....

http://www.bdonline.co.uk/5066309.article?origin=BDbreakingnews

.... or more likely a 'Mexican stand-off'!

richheap
richheap  
2/5/2014 6:53:03 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Skateboarders
Thank goodness for that. I don't want to launch into a mini-tirade unnecessarily.

And thanks for that link. I can sort of see the point the 20th Century Society is trying to make and I do have some sympathy with it. However, I don't get Catherine Croft's point about how buildings from other centuries would never be treated in this manner. There are plenty of examples of older buildings with newer extensions, like the British Museum or King's Cross station. It's fair enough to say that they don't like the plan, but it's going too far to suggest that buildings developed in other eras don't get the same sort of treatment.

sunshine
sunshine  
2/5/2014 6:39:48 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Skateboarders
Yes it is .... I'm sure your reference to 'shopping centre' was an example rather than specific to the South Bank but in fact that is what is happening incrementally. The phrase 'nice restaurant with an Art Gallery attached' and Banksy's ironic title 'Exit through the Gift Shop' are all too true....

I am surprised that Boris's objections are in relation to the skatepark when there are far more significant issues. The Twentieth Century Society have made a satirical comment in relation to how other buildings would look if given the same treatment.  

http://www.bdonline.co.uk/southbank-opponents-make-their-point-in-pictures/5065715.article

 

 

richheap
richheap  
2/5/2014 5:08:32 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Skateboarders
Morning sunshine. I can't tell if your first sentence is ironic or not! I blame the lack of verbal nuance on internet chat boards. So, with that in mind, here goes...

I don't want to see the South Bank Centre turned into a shopping centre, although a few more decent bars and restaurants on that part of the South Bank might be nice. The point I was making in the shopping centre reference was that you can't simultaneously back a big redevelopment of an area, but also say you want things in that area to stay the same. To me, it appears that is what Boris wants to do in order to avoid upsetting anyone.

He seems to be doing a similar thing with the Waterloo "garden bridge" proposal too. On one hand he gives public money for it and says it will revolutionise public space; and on the other seems to dismiss it by saying he isn't sure what it's exactly for.

sunshine
sunshine  
2/4/2014 3:48:43 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Skateboarders
Rich, I've just seen your comment about the South Bank being changed into a shopping centre .... I'm surprised you are encouraging such a thing! 

The South Bank Centre is funded by public money and as such the public should have a say in how the site is developed. The current proposals massively overdevelop the site and create unnecessary barriers between the National Theatre and the Queen Elizabeth Hall/Hayward Gallery.  Like you I'm not opposed to the skate park moving, but it is indicative of the paucity of the design process and solution that no thought was given to the long established, but unplanned skatepark which has become key to the vitality of the undercroft.

The more sensitive interventions around the Festival Hall should give some clue as to how the area can be developed.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
1/21/2014 12:23:44 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: sense of place
Great point about "ownership" of public space, CitySolver. It's true that the city risks losing something in moving the skate park, but isn't this what happens? I mean, gentrification displaces people from their homes all the time... how much energy should we really spend defending the rights of skateboarders? It's not even as if they're shutting down the park, they're just moving it. I get that it's upsetting and maybe not ideal, but in the grand scheme of things it's hard to have too much sympathy for this problem.

CitySolver
CitySolver  
1/20/2014 2:43:22 PM
User Rank Blogger
sense of place
I see your point about moving it 120 metres but the site is under a bridge next to the river thames and the whole make up of the place (the modernist architecture and concrete planes are part of the whole place. The Skaters have adopted the place not the place has adopted Skaters, so to move it would I feel defeat the symbolism and value of having the venue. The venue is the street, it cant be manufactured without losing the skaters spirtit of urban defiance, urban appropriation of public space, its an interesting example of the ownership of public space and how its often not straight forward to determine this or organise it in a balanced and fair way for all.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
1/20/2014 1:44:16 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Skaters
For sure it would add considerably to the cost, Nicole. And I only suggest it half seriously because it's not likely to satisfy the detractors. 

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