[o] Jordan Wiens

imagesOne of the biggest barriers to skateboarding in Ottawa is defensive architecture. But if we go a step beyond architecture, a closely related challenge is the perception of public space and who is (or in what’s often the case, isn’t) entitled to use that space. 

It has been refreshing to see the topic of public spaces discussed in a more inclusive way lately. With the recent news that streetside spots will be popping up across Ottawa, we are hopeful that this indicates a shift in how the City is looking at its public spaces and how they serve and shape their communities.

Often, we are put in a category that’s unwelcome when it comes to taking up public space. You don’t have to walk very far down any downtown street without seeing the defensive architecture of the city or coming across a ‘no skateboarding’ sign or skate-stopper.

Movements like DIY have grown to allow skate opportunities in the existing urban spaces available to them. And while many policy makers frown on it, local authorities that have gotten involved and collaborated with those behind these movements in their cities have seen thriving communities as a result. OSCA member Jordan Wells muses on the challenges and opportunities that DIY creates with P45, a group at the very heart of what the DIY movement is about. Check it out here

Stay stoked, Ottawa.