Saturday, 19 June 2010

To skate or not to skate?

Today's photo gives a view of Oslo's City Hall, although I'm not going to consentrate this post on the building and its history. The City Hall is a very popular spot for skaters to meet and practice. Every day, at all times, there are skaters outside the City Hall. I have been curious to whether the skaters are "accepted" there, whether the City Hall stairs, of all places, is a desired place for skaters. For as long as I can remember, there has been discussions in the media or in local communities whether or not skaters are welcome. After a quick search online I found an article on the subject. A few years ago, it actually existed an agreement between the skaters (Norwegian organisations for skatboarders) and the Oslo council, saying the skaters were only allowed to skate in front of the City Hall after office hours. This agreement was kept for a few years, before the skaters started to skate there at all times, as they do today. Prior to this agreement, the skating at the City Hall stairs had been illegal for over ten years. Today, a balance between the passers by's safety and the skater's use of public sphere plays a role in accepting the skaters as a part of the City Hall stairs and place.

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