December 22, 2017
There’s a lot to be said for the efficient use of urban space. As is the case anywhere where thousands or even millions of people come together it’s crucial to find a way for everyone to get together to make living together as pleasant as possible for as many people as possible: the classic Greatest Good for the Greatest Number. With that in mind many cities tear down their old and disused factories or abandoned warehouses in favour of building something that benefits the people who live in cities by providing amenities, places of employment, places to live, or areas of entertainment.
However, in cities that are less confined in space—often cities in the so-called New World, namely both North and South America and Australia—urban planning is a bit more open and the cities needn’t be quite as efficiently used as cities in more populous regions like Japan, Hong Kong, or Europe to name but a few. Here, abandoned factories and skateboarding make unlikely but oddly perfect bed fellows.
Although it’s not particularly the safest of activities, as abandoned buildings have a tendency to eventually collapse under their own weight as all structures that are not properly maintained to, after a long enough period of time, it’s a growing trend in the skateboarding community.
In cities across the world, especially those that once had thriving industries that have seen gone bankrupt or relocated or simply ceased being relevant to global capitalist society—both Detroit and Berlin are cities that spring quickly to mind—abandoned places are becoming the new hot spot for skaters of all ilk. Beyond simply providing the basic requirements of skateboarders (which mainly entails large spaces with plenty of flat areas, unless one has specially equipped skateboards made for the outdoors), they most certainly provide a bit of ambiance and a way for urbanites to take ownership of their environments and also make use of spaces that would otherwise have gone to waste.
If you’re thinking of skating in abandoned factories you’re in for a treat, but do remember to stay safe as the environment you’ll be in is in no way as safe as going to a skate park. But of course the experience is certainly a rewarding one and combines well with other hobbies such as urban exploration and photography.