Similar to bike riding, skateboarding is an "unstructured" recreation activity. There are no rules, no timeframes - it's free play and is critical to the healthy development of our youth. In addition to being an accessible physical activity, skateboarding naturally encourages creativity and individuality, among other benefits.
Background and Research
Skateboard amenities strategy
It is estimated that there are more than 35,000 skateboarders in Calgary. This number does not reflect those who inline skate or bmx. Nor does it take into consideration the increasing demographic of scooter riders in Calgary. Together, they represent a significant demographic.
According to the 2013 Alberta Recreation Survey, this group of "wheeled sport" participants is greater than the total number of lacrosse or tennis players in Calgary!
Recognizing the vast gap in the amenities vs. the amount of users, Council approved the Skateboard Amenities Strategy (SAS) in 2011 as the guiding document to address this gap.
In 2012, City of Calgary staff from across different business units came together to determine the best means and methodology for implementation of the SAS.
Taking into consideration that engagement and greater community support is critical to the development of skateboard amenities, we announced an open-call style application process for interested community associations. In 2013, we received 27 applications from communities in all quadrants of Calgary.
Once the site viability was determined, the project team then established criteria to equitably and strategically evaluate all applications. In addition to the criteria listed in the SAS (pg. 62) additional criteria include but are not limited to; demographic need; index of community well being; potential as a community hub; site amenities, integration into open space system; connection to trails, access to public transit; parking availability; maintenance and service levels; high visibility; and an active environment which includes a variety of activities for all ages.
Upon determination of the top 10 rated sites, an online engagement tool was launched city-wide. This information led to our top 8 rated sites.
Each of the 8 sites underwent participatory design through public engagement in each community. This information helped the design team determine what elements to include in each park, while balancing the development of a network of parks to serve the City.
The design for Bowness has not yet been completed. Site selection continues within this community and once approved, further public engagement will be conducted prior to proceeding.
Chinook Park, Kelvin Grove & Eagle Ridge
The inspiration behind this site is "elbow river deposit" – which incorporates different materials and textures, aggregate and boulder seating features.
Through our engagement process in 2014, we heard that residents and users wanted to ensure a "natural feeling that integrates and contours into the existing space." In addition, residents requested that existing vegetation remain, wherever possible. We are happy to announce that these preferences have been included in the concept design.
Southwood Skatepark concept
The inspiration behind the design is based on A-frame houses and barns because the site was at one point a traditional working farm and/or a homestead and so "barn-red" wood and decking material have been incorporated.
Through our engagement process in 2014, we heard that residents wanted to ensure that the existing land and trees were incorporated into the design and not lost. User feedback indicated preferences for street style features with flow style park. We are happy to announce that these preferences are included in the concept design.
This skatepark is now open - visit calgary.ca/skateparks
for more info.
Through our engagement process in 2014, we heard that residents and users wanted to ensure that the site was accessible to both bowl riders and technical "street style" users. We are happy to announce that these preferences are included in the concept design
This skatepark is now open - visit calgary.ca/skateparks for more info.
Through our engagement process in 2014, we heard that residents and users wanted the following features: a flow style park, purple in the design because New Brighton's community color is purple,and a New Brighton sign. We are happy to announce that these preferences are included in the concept design.
Midnapore Skatepark concept
Currently under construction.
The concept for the Midnapore sculptural skatespot was developed through a review of the aerial images of the Midnapore community. The provides a “flowy” hardscape pattern to give the appearance of water moving through the lake as users weave through the park.
Midnapore skatepark will provide South Calgary with a flow-style skatespot with some transition elements. This park will provide a small spot for training in bowl-style skateboarding. These simple features should provide training but also have enough challenging obstacles for more advanced riders.concept design
Deer Run Skatepark concept
Currently under construction.
Through our engagement process in 2014, we heard that residents and users were excited that they would no longer have to contend/use the Deer Run community centre parking lot and that they wanted it located near a busy or active location with access to public transportation. Users also wanted rails, quarters and stairs. We are happy to announce that these preferences have been included in the concept design
The park fits within the network as a street style skate spot. This skatepark will serve as South Calgary’s main street and transition style park for this first phase. The adjacent New Brighton and Midnapore parks will focus more on bowl and flow terrain. This combination allows for all types of terrain being covered for residents of the southern neighbourhoods.
Identification of a possible site in the NE continues. At this time a location is not yet approved. Public sessions and information will be required prior to proceeding with this future site.
The SAS is excited to include public art as integral to adding to the urban vibrancy and character of a community. This public art project presents the opportunity for residents, user groups and surrounding communities to strengthen social ties to be creatively engaged in ways that encourage self-expression, new skills and ideas.
We continue to hear from interested community associations wanting a skatepark. The next call for applications is not yet planned while we focus our efforts towards getting these first skateparks built.