Urban Skateboarding

In working with skateboarders in the urban environments of Swansea and Bridgend, GGAT is aiming to answer a key question — why is this place important? In public interactions with heritage, many people rely on others to explain the signi cance of the heritage site and, consequently, the ‘expert’ viewpoint predominates in the recording, interpretation and valuing of heritage. GGAT hold over 25,000 records development of virtual models and i-beacons in the third year. The process is self-reinforcing, feeding the knowledge gained and research done back into the HER, to inform further interpretation and allow it to be more accurate and representative.

The whole process will develop a much greater awareness of their own territory (bro in Welsh) and an appreciation of the richness of the archaeology within it.Whilst the historic environment is local to the participants, it has international signi cance, and the current World Heritage Site nomination will enable links to be forged with UNESCO youth forums. Output from the project can be shared internationally, through the forums, and the unique Welsh slate-quarrying culture made known and shared withother young people, so encouraging an interchange of views and ideas on a global level. The legacy of this project is rich — as well as the skills training and ‘soft skills’ development of the participants themselves, the area will be left with a library of sound and music, a series of lms and presentations and cutting-edge digital interpretation of the valley’s heritage and history. of archaeological and historic interest in the HER — but whose heritage is this? This project aims to work with the skateboarding communities of Bridgend and Swansea, to understand how they perceive heritage and the built landscape around them, and to encourage them to have a voice in the future design of their towns.The project will also help skateboarders and urban decision makers to understand and respect each other’s viewpoints. By using archaeological techniques to document ‘another version’ of heritage, GGAT will be broadening the professional and public understanding of the historic environment. The spots which these groups inhabit are much more than just physical spaces in which people skate — they are also full of meaning and memory, drawn from the way in which space has been used, experienced and imagined. For the skater, the whole city is useable terrain. Design elements intended for sitting or public safety, steps and landscaping can all become opportunities for grinding, sliding and clearing with tricks limited only by the technical skill, con dence and will of the rider.