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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Rotterdam skate park


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Katrina Lee is currently living in Copenhagen, Denmark. Spacing Toronto will be sharing some of her observations and photos of European public spaces.

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ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS — One of the more interesting sites in Rotterdam is the Skatepark occupying the midsection of Westblaak, a main thoroughfare in the city centre. The public skate facility opened in 2000 and covers 6,700 square metres, comprising 11 stainless steel obstacles for inline skating, skateboarding, and BMX stunts. There is also a green area for relaxing, and an on-site restaurant.


The most important element of this park is the fact that it was the young skaters of the city who came up with the idea. They also played a key role in the planning and design process of the facility by providing input and knowledge of their needs in such a space.


For more information about the park, visit the website.


photos by Katrina Lee. Cross-posted from kleejourneys.



  1. The European commitment to skate parks is really amazing. I had the chance to tour for a few years visiting parks hidden in tiny French hamlets or prominently located in the heart of large cities. Each park had a unique involvement with the surrounding community that was, for the most part, positive. The North American mentality of hiding skateparks in industrial areas or remote, smaller towns is downright disgusting. Perhaps the proposed park at Ashbridges will change this for Toronto. We just have to teach older generations that skate parks are not magnets for drug use and all that bad graffiti.

  2. A better (and more close to home) example of this would be The Plaza at The Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    A cement (not the terrible pre-fab stainless garbage in the feature) outdoor facility designed to blend in with it’s environment. Placed as close to the center of the city as it can be. It’s also the largest street style plaza and dedicated bowl in the country.

  3. Speaking of skate parks…In Toronto – what’s up with the site at Coxwell and Lakshore at Pump House Park? No action for 3 years then this summer the pile of mud was re-shaped in a sudden flurry of activity. But once again all work halted. Will this one ever be completed?