Explaining the Impact of Funding on Public Skatepark Design: A Case Study of Skateparks in Hamilton, Ontario

Heaman, Sam
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University of Guelph

Over the past decade, Hamilton, Ontario has been committed to bringing new and improved skateparks to the city. Some of these projects were funded via the municipal tax base, and others were funded by developer fees. The aim of this study is to determine how support and funding was garnered for these new projects and discern what impact the source of funding has on each project’s final design. This study covers three case studies of skateparks within Hamilton and compare their funding and design to determine how alternative funding impacts public recreational space. Each case includes semi-structured interviews with key informants involved in planning, design and community engagement and secondary analysis of news articles and studies on skateboarding conducted by the City of Hamilton. Findings indicate that funding through developer fees places limits on the location and size of the project, but overall is beneficial from an advocacy standpoint.

skatepark, public space, neoliberalism, skateboarding culture