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Säröjä kaupunkitilassa: Re-interpreting Urban Space through Parkour


Ameel, L. & Tani, S.



Alue Ja Ympäristö

Tipo de publicación

Artículo de revista



Palabras clave

parkour, urban space, banal landscape,


In this article we take a look at parkour, a new urban physical discipline. We present parkour from different angles, taking into account various issues in geography and urban studies that it raises and forces to reinterpret. First we set out to trace the background of parkour and its media representation, after which we discuss parkour as an example of urban youth cultures. We then take a look at its potential for interpreting the aesthetics of everyday, banal landscapes. In order to provide parkour with a broad theoretic and historic framework, we take a look at earlier endeavors to reinvent urban space, e.g. Baudelaire’s flâneur and the avant-garde experiments of surrealists and situationists. Through the encounters of practitioners of parkour (traceurs) with other people, we analyze the unwritten rules of how to use public space. Our analysis of this aspect of parkour is guided by the concepts of tight spaces and loose spaces. We conclude that parkour challenges the way people interact with urban space, and the way the city is experienced in terms of aesthetic appearance and accessibility to (semi-)public space. At the end of our article, we suggest some subjects for further research.


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