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The "Creative Class" and the Gentrifying City: Skateboarding in Philadelphia's Love Park

Ocean Howell
Journal of Architectural Education (1984-)
Vol. 59, No. 2 (Nov., 2005), pp. 32-42
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40480609
Page Count: 11
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The "Creative Class" and the Gentrifying City: Skateboarding in Philadelphia's Love Park
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Abstract

This study explores the recent spatial politics of John F. Kennedy Plaza, "Love Park"—a piece of Philadelphia's mid-1960s Penn Center redevelopments. By the turn of the Century, Love Park had become a center of a growing international skateboard culture, appearing widely in magazines and videos and on ESPN. In 2002, the city redesigned the park in order to deter the skateboardfers, to the vocal protests of a broad-based coalition that included Edmund Bacon and over half the city Council members. Through a review of city planning documents, local newspaper reportage, and personal interviews, I argue that the Love Park debates illustrate the extent to which "bohemian" or "countercultural" lifestyles are becoming institutionalized as instruments of urban development.

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