PARTISPACE Evidence paper 4: Parkour group, Zurich

“Parkour is a method of physical training that develops one’s ability to overcome obstacles (both physical and mental). It is a practice of moving through a – typically – urban setting to get from a start point to an end point as efficiently as possible. This involves physically overcoming barriers on any given route, creating inventive but practical ways to use the city’s infrastructure. In contrast to other PARTISPACE cases, the activities in the case of the Parkour training group under study always take place in the public urban space. Therefore, (public urban) space has a special meaning and importance in this case study. Another interesting aspect of this case is that the Parkour training group is part of a private limited company, which is part of an international network.

Training sessions are fee-based. The participants are aged between 12 and (approximately) 35 years and therefore, cover a wide age range. The trainer of the group is in his early twenties. The training group of as many as 14 participants meets twice a week in different locations in the center of the city of Zurich for two-hour training sessions. As there is a limit of how many individuals can participate there is currently a long waiting list. The training sessions are based on a training concept that has been developed and certified by the company. Every month subjects and techniques related to parkour are selected by the trainer which are then practiced and reflected. The training sessions are held outdoor in summer and winter regardless of the weather.”

Authors

PARTISPACE

The PARTISPACE project provides empirical knowledge on how to broaden the concepts of participation. The core of this knowledge lies in relating individual biographies of young people and the social spaces in which they act in order to understand the meaning of participation from their perspective.