Lighting at Charlie Bowins Skateboard Park
The purpose of this project was to lobby the city to build lighting at the Charlie Bowins skateboard park. Lighting at Charlie Bowins Skatepark will allow for increased use of the facility and decreased criminal activity. Through close consultations with communities of surrounding parks and users of the skate facilities, lighting and shading have come up as the most important demands. It has also been consistently brought up as a concern that none of Ottawa’s skate parks have lighting, and Charlie Park could serve as an illustration of how providing lighting to these facilities will reduce crime and provide optimal usability.
With the addition of lighting at Charlie Park, it will be the only facility with this amenity in the city. This will make this already popular park more accessible to users, as well as a model for how these public spaces, when provided with improved lighting, signal greater community investment leading to increased community pride, cohesion, informal social control and the fostering of community confidence.
Thoughtfully designed lighting not only has the ability to prevent crime in parks, but will also ensure optimal use of Charlie Park. Primary users are kids and teens who often only have a few sparing hours before or after dinner and homework for recreational activity before the sun goes down. Management of sport needs to be positioned within the context of the lived experiences of today’s children and adolescents. This means fitting sports into lives that are not only time-challenged and highly dependent on technology, but also waning in other communal supports. Skateboarding and skateboard parks are a perfect fit to meet the changing youth culture and providing lighting for the facility will allow for optimal use given the time constraints for its primary users.