By: John Evans
To look at the future of Harrison Street DIY Skatepark, I need to be explicit about a few things: First, they did build on land they have permission to build on, but no real agreement. They choose a little strip of abandoned land with all kinds of forces tugging at it from different directions. Governing everything is a court order. Second, the Harrison Street crew didn’t just build a skate park, they built a model to solve a problem; cash-strapped communities who want a public amenity often have a hard time paying for and building it. Finally, the skaters and their guerrilla take over of unused land created a model for civic engagement. One where a group of volunteers forges an open, meaningful relationship with their neighbors, and that sort of rebel alliance builds a community asset together. And that last one? It’s something political leaders and developers had better take note of.