Issue 506

Urban Field Notes: Five Local Skate Hubs Show Limits of Sanctioned Design

Almost every time I ride my skateboard through San Francisco’s financial district all Ican think about is Mike Davis’s take on downtown Los Angeles, which he describedas the “Militarization of Urban Space.” Countless urban design techniques are implemented to prevent what urban designers call “undesirable urban behavior,” such as homelessness, graffiti and the ultimate undesirable: skateboarding. It’s amazing to me that skateboarding has…

Seeking Green

Funding public parks in a challenging financial climate

Image courtesy Flickr user ShawnaScottPhotoSan Francisco’s parks are among the city’s most treasured assets — but they’re also in serious financial trouble. The city’s Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) has lost more than 25 percent of its General Fund revenue in just five years. Meanwhile, labor costs have gone up 34 percent. This mix of factors has forced the department to make dramatic cuts…