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Long Live Southbank: skateboarding, citizenship and the city

Abstract

‘The Undercroft’ underneath Queen Elizabeth’s Hall on London’s Southbank is one of London’s best known skate spots and plans, released in 2013, to fill the space with retail outlets and relocate the skateboarders to an alternative site were met with fierce opposition by the skateboarding community. In response, the group ‘Long Live Southbank’ was founded to campaign for the site’s preservation. This essay will focus on the Long Live Southbank’s 17 month campaign, asking why the local community were so opposed to the relocation of ‘the Undercroft’ to a purpose built site. By analysing a range of different media produced by Long Live Southbank this essay will look at the phenomenology of skateboarding and how the act of skateboarding affects the individual’s lived experience, arguing that the skateboarders’ resistance to relocation was tied in with their desire to be included in the ongoing production of public space, and therefore deeply embedded within their own individual and collective senses of citizenship.

Published:
Pages:149 to 158
Section: Viewpoint
How to Cite
Warin, R. (2018) “Long Live Southbank: skateboarding, citizenship and the city”, The Journal of Public Space, 3(3), pp. 149-158. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v3i3.1138.

Author Biography

Robbie Warin is a writer and researcher whose work looks at how we form relationships with the people and places that we inhabit. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Invisible Worker, a zine exploring the interface between work and the internet. He has written for several publications including Red Pepper magazine, Huck Magazine, Novara Media and published original research for The New Economics Foundation and The Autonomy Institute.

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