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Skatepark development

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 parks “activate’ environments
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.

Site Selection

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 parks to serve the City.

Bowness

The City of Calgary with support from the Bowness Community Association, Bowness Legion #238 and the local branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Calgary, are working towards making a Bowness skatepark a reality. We are excited to announce, Queen Elizabeth Park, at 4324 77 St. N.W. will receive a skatepark.

We intend to honour previous engagement and so will include what we’ve heard from our 2014 engagement sessions into the design elements. Additionally, we will honour the monument and will work to preserve and promote the historic value of this site.

Chinook Park, Kelvin Grove & Eagle Ridge

This skatepark is now open - visit calgary.ca/skateparks for more info.

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." We are happy to announce that these preferences are included in the design.

Southwood

This skatepark is now open - visit calgary.ca/skateparks for more info.

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 design.

Huntington Hills

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 were included in the design.

New Brighton

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 design.

Midnapore

This skatepark is now open - visit calgary.ca/skateparks for more info.

The concept for the Midnapore sculptural skatespot was developed through a review of the aerial images of the Midnapore community. The inspiration is a “flowy” hardscape pattern giving the appearance of water moving through the lake. Midnapore skatepark will provide South Calgary with a flow-style skatespot with some transition elements.

Deer Run

This skatepark is now open - visit calgary.ca/skateparks for more info.

Through our engagement process in 2014, we heard that users also wanted rails, quarters and stairs. We are happy to announce that these preferences have been included in the design.

NE

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.

Public Art

Public art adds to the urban vibrancy and character of a community. The public art associated with the Skateboard Amenities implementation presents opportunities for residents, user groups and surrounding communities to strengthen social ties and to be physically and creatively engaged.