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19.04.2022 - Ausgabe: 2/2022

LIGHTS ON at Germany's first inclusive pump track bowl

By Veith Kilberth, LNDSKT planning office

© Planungsbüro LNDSKT

On the way to becoming an inclusive sports city, the Reuterpark in Bonn is being redesigned by RMP Landscape Architects. The aim is to transform the park into an “inner-city, barrier-free and inclusive meeting place – for both disabled and able-bodied people from different generations”. 

True to the maxim of a “place for everyone”, the Cologne-based Landskate planning office specializing in the design and construction of skate parks was commissioned to design a skate and pump track facility that would meet the requirements of this large-scale, trend-setting project. 


The concept

In a multi-stage planning participation process, a unique facility was designed together with local users to cater for a large group of users, in particular through the active participation of WCMX skaters. This involved merging the requested pump track and skatepark terrains into one single facility. The result is a triangle-shaped pump track with banked turns and speed bumps that surround the flow bowl in the middle. Together with trees, green spaces and recreational areas, the arrangement of double-conical concrete elements blends into the landscape. The in-situ concrete construction allows for a high design quality of the facility, which results from a fusion of the organic forms of the pump track with the tables and free forms of the bowl. 


For every skill level - from beginner to pro 

Thanks to their relatively low base height of one metre, the pump track and the flow bowl as a whole provide more of a low-threshold offer that is geared towards creative and playful use for a particularly large group of users. The linear structure of the pump track makes it particularly easy to get started, so that you can successively enhance the experience of riding, rolling and gaining speed and momentum on the track-like circuit. With increasing skill levels, the indoor flow bowl with its wide variety of lines (multi-lines) and opportunities to perform tricks will present the next challenge. 

According to the motto “from beginner to pro”, the pump track also offers different levels of difficulty for advanced users, as it is possible to 'pump' the wave-like speed bumps one after the other, or to skip a wave at different points and choose between two tracks of different levels of difficulty on the long side. Parts of the pump track as well as larger areas of the bowl feature copings as edge terminations to enable grind and slide tricks, making up for the otherwise often lacking “performance aspects” or opportunities to perform tricks provided by pump tracks. In addition, there are creative transfer options at various intersections that allow users to switch between the pump track and bowl sections and to explore new routes within the overall terrain (multi-lines). 


Participation of WCMX skaters 

The facility not only caters to skateboarders, bike/BMX riders, stunt scooter riders and inline skaters, but also to WCMX (wheelchair skating) athletes in the spirit of inclusive participation. In addition to barrier-free access to the lounge and spectator areas of the facility, WCMX-compatible ramps lead to the two large tables of the pump track. WCMX skaters can reach these starting points from the ground level on their own and without outside assistance in order to join all the other users on the pump track. There are various barrier-free options for exiting the facility along the outside. In addition, the flow bowl has a ground-level opening on one side that allows WCMX skaters to enter and exit the facility. 



The facility is operated based on the “free outdoor access for all” model. In order to extend the hours of use, skate park-specific lighting with approximately 9.5-metre-high poles and LED lights was integrated into the concept. Taking lighting into account at the beginning of the planning process is one way of mitigating the impacts of heavy use on pump tracks and modern in-situ concrete skate parks in many places. 


Principles of qualitative skate park design  

In summary, many of the principles of qualitative skate park design have been incorporated into the planning, such as:

  • participation of local users  
  • unique, creative design  
  • low-threshold activities catering for different skill levels, from easy to challenging 
  • other local urban sports activities have been taken into account in the sense of an overall communal service 
  • multi-directional (multi-lines) facility providing a creative terrain structure 
  • designed to accommodate as large a group of users as possible 
  • particularly wide range of creative uses to ensure the design's long-term appeal 
  • designed to enable WCMX use or participation 
  • state-of-the-art design (of skate parks) in the in-situ concrete construction method 
  • integration of coloured concrete 
  • maximising hours of use through a special lighting concept


For more information on the qualitative design of skate parks, please also refer to the book “Skate­parks. Räume für Skateboarding zwischen Subkultur und Versportlichung” (Skate Parks - Spaces for Skateboarding between Subculture and Sportification) by the author, published by transcript. 

The pump track bowl presented herein is an example of the wide range of designs for urban sports facilities, which may serve as inspiration for not necessarily placing separate facilities next to each other, but rather combining them in a particularly creative way with the involvement of local user groups to create unique facilities from a single mould. 



Planning: Pumptrack / Skatepark Landskate GmbH, Cologne for RMP Landscape Architects, Bonn 

Area: approx. 700 m² (paved area)  

Construction sum: 400,000 € (net)  

Completion: scheduled for July 2022  

Contractor: Anker Rampen, Kiel  

Financing: approx. 2 / 3 through funding, from the “Social Integration in the Neighbourhood” investment pact



About the author:

Veith Kilberth (Dr. phil.), a former professional skateboarder, graduate sports scientist, and copartner of the Landskate planning office in Cologne, conducts research in the field of skate parks and urban fitness and exercise spaces and advises municipalities on this topic. 





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