Back in spring of 2018 some Dortmund City Locals build a small quarter in front of the “Dortmunder U” and skated it. Not knowing, that they started something that would change the skate scene in Dortmund forever.
Video by @maaxxhilsmann
Shortly after that the city council became aware of the provisional use of the quarter, they asked the local Skateboard Club in Dortmund if they were interested in an interim use of the parking space in front of the new built quarter.
The skateboarding scene in Dortmund then finally managed to get almost every skater in town involved to meet up, plan and organize the use of the empty parking space. Following this meeting you could already see the motivation and creative power that would make it possible for Dortmund’s skate scene to create the main parts of this concrete monster in a blink of an eye.
At first, the interim use of the parking space was planned to be for only three months but this extended into more than two years because there were always new delays on the side of the future owner of the parking lot. With that, the park managed to grow exponentially over this short time span of just two years. Before “Utopia“, Dortmund had a functional skateboarding scene but it was split into several smaller skate crews that would stick to themselves most of the time. In “Utopia“, these barriers were blown away. If you skated Utopia and wanted to be a part of it, you were always instantly welcomed. In Utopia there was no judgement about who is the coolest.
Everyone just wanted to have a good time and be part of this wonderful construct called Utopia. That’s what Utopia was all about; skateboarding in its purest form – everybody could go there and just be themselves. And this creative force that originated in building a small little quarter, quickly spread over and affected different parts and aspects of the public cultural life in the City Center of Dortmund: Concerts, workshops, parties, you name it. And all this, because Utopia created a space where it was possible to organize and carry out fun events without having to conquer the walls of german bureaucracy. With that being said it was actually quiet heart-breaking to see this, our very own Utopia being destroyed in only two days to make space for some corny ass rich student housing project.
But what is left are the people and a sense of community that went far beyond the actual existence of a skatepark like this. Because of Utopia, eventually even the local city council became aware of the urgent need to actually talk to the skaters in Dortmund to make something happen that would make sense for both sides, but to still leave the part of actually building and conceptualizing things in the hands of the skateboarding community. Utopia finally managed to get the skaters’ voices heard.
This video shows some of the people that made it possible. It is about skateboarding, love and all that other good shit.
And because of that, it can only be said that no skateboard community should be afraid of doing their own thing and just start. Sometimes even a small little quarter can be the impetus for a place that could be its own “Utopia”. Thank you skateboarding and everyone that made “Utopia” to what it was. Maybe the park had to go, but its soul stays in every human being that skates in Dortmund and it will continue to make sure that Dortmund keeps rolling fast.