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Good InfoSkateboarding’s Latest Trick: Reviving Cities

Skateboarding’s Latest Trick: Reviving Cities


Rosa Chang and her husband and son live on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge, in an extremely densely-populated urban area — roughly 47,000 people living within a half-mile radius — sandwiched between downtown Manhattan and the Lower East Side. 

In 2020, when her son was four and the pandemic was in full swing, Chang grew frustrated that the urban design of their immediate neighborhood was dividing people, not bringing them together. 

“There were all of these separating walls in our community,” Chang says. “There was not enough public space. Our children were playing between parked cars.” 

Skaters at Go Skate Day.
Go Skate Day was held at the brand-new Brooklyn Banks on June 21, 2023. Credit: Lanna Apisukh / The Skatepark Project

She was well aware of a huge, nine-acre plot of land under the bridge that had been fenced off as a construction site and parking lot for more than 10 years, so she started raising the question at community meetings and around the neighborhood: What if we could use that space? 

Chang reached out to two Pace University students who had started a Change.org petition to save the Brooklyn Banks. They introduced her to local skateboarder and skateboarding advocate Steve Rodriguez, who took her for a site walk and explained the space’s history. During the ’80s and ’90s, this plot of land had been home to the Brooklyn Banks, an iconic skate spot with rolling, banked surfaces and stairs. But over time, the area became associated with homelessness and drug use, and eventually found itself dormant behind those fences. 

The post Skateboarding’s Latest Trick: Reviving Cities appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

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