Sport in the city

Pavillon de l'Arsenal

As industrial society conceived modern sport in the XIXth century, the postmodern urban society at the end of the XXth century pushed informal city sports underground, which are equally strong indicators of the lifestyle transformations and the contemporary social relationships to urban spaces.


These physical activities exercised independently of institutional structures and sports federations should be placed amongst the thousands of playful practices by which inhabitants reappropriate the public space within their cities?

Skating in Paris 
Skiers on an artificial track (1969) 
Board activies, urban travel, cycling, and ball games are some of these "alternative practices". As is evident with such neologisms, they never stop reinventing themselves. Streetball, Parkour, Freestyle, Street Surfing, Urbanball, and Skateboarding are some of these creations which would each be contemplated in a more precise way.
Bike Polo at Palais de Tokyo 
Daily on the sidewalks, in gardens, at the edge of the Seine, city-dwellers gather and transform the city into an open-air gymnasium. Whether these disciplines are named crossfit or street workout, they reproducing gymnastic figures while associating them to a race, jump, weight lifting, the movement of objects and the use of devices outdoors.
Taï Chi Chuan 
Léon Claudel skatepark 
Pink Flamingo, student residence and basketball court, Paris 13 (2012). Architect Stéphane Maupin. 
Inauguration of the Berges de Seine Left Bank 
Rollerblade and Rollerskate tour 
Badminton at the Invalides 
The banks of the Seine 
Paris Skyliners - Sébastien Montaz
Ping-Pong game
StreetGolf - “The 19th hole” Collective 
Skate contest on the Berges de Seine

Appearing in France at the end of 1990s, Parkour is an alternative sports practice in urban zones. This “art travelling” calls for jump tricks, techniques of climbing and fast running to cross the inexhaustible variety of physical obstacles produced by the city scape. Inspired by the sports routines of Georges Hébert's “Natural Method”, Parkour grew in Ile-de-France, between Évry and Courcouronnes, from the transformation of a climbing sculpture, The Lady of the Lake, by two young sportsmen, David Belle and Sébastien Foucan.

Paris, a playground. 
A roller skating hockey match, Plaza of the Invalides (1941)
Bike Polo tournament 
Skatepark at La Villette (1978) 
Léon Claudel skatepark 
A demonstration by firefighters (1913) 
Street sports
Place de la République
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