ARCHITECTS and property professionals will be challenged to see the urban environment from a skateboarder’s perspective, as experts from across Europe encourage them to consider the role of playful spaces in urban design.

Urban Toy Box, a conference being held by the Construction Industry Council at York Racecourse on June 21, will hear from Iain Borden, professor of architecture and urban culture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, who has a keen interest in how cities function, on how they are designed, what they mean to people and how they are experienced.

His study of skateboarding looked at how people’s mobile experiences change their engagement with architecture and cities.

He said: “Skateboarders look at cities from a completely different perspective than most of us and use the built environment in ways that designers would never expect public spaces and buildings to be used. There’s a lot we can learn from that.”

The conference will discuss topics from spatial planning to graffiti and the trend towards privatising public space.