Stop 3 – Lincoln Square - Skating and Parkour

Skating is a transgressive activity that has strongly emerged in cities to challenge the regulations imposed on urban space and how we should move around it (Borden, 1998) - transforming space beyond its designated functions (Bordon, 2003).

Parkour is another example of an activity which challenges traditional notions of use of space, being a mobile engagement with the environment and one which is also carried out in this area. Parkour can be characterized as a play with architecture, being an alternative way to theorize the city as an arena for capitalist practices. This act embraces urban rediscovery away from the city as a capitalist form subverting our preconceptions on how cities should be used (Sassen, 2000). This is evident in the embodiment of urban terrain (Harvey 1989) with the usage and functionality of buildings being extensively for capitalist ends, those seeking alternative modes of architectural use being marginalized.
Since parkour’s emergence it has proliferated into the public consciousness through media representations and films, it being put in the mainstream focus with films such as ‘’Jump London’’ 2003, and more recently featured on the opening sequence of casino royal the James Bond film (2006) and now many computer games such as Assassins creed, as it gains popularity. Do you feel more empowered here because you are performing a practice that is frowned upon by the authorities?