Parkour training has always taken place in various surroundings, mostly in structures that are characteristic to urban spaces but also in parks, even in the woods. The best places are easily accessible, firm and have interesting structures that promote creative movement.
Traceurs call their training places spots. Good spots are well known and recognised among the practitioners and they are often named according to the location, qualities, structures, buildings or companies nearby the spot. In parkour training it's typical to wander around and explore the surroundings in hopes of finding a good spot. It's also typical that traceurs gather in a familiar spot for certain structures or to train a certain skill. With creative thinking even an old spot can offer new possibilities session after session. A good old spot is also a good way to measure your performance level. Old challenges can be tested every time you come back to the spot.
A perfect training spot has many special features like easy access, which means two things. First of all you can train there without disturbance. Secondly the spot is not too far away from the places people use in their everyday life or you can easily get there by public transport. On the other hand a traffic through the spot makes training harder no matter how good the spot is structurally. The structures of the spot must be strong and durable. If a railing collapses when you land on it, you could get injured and/or fined for breaking someone’s property. It's good to have a lot of various structures in small area. Wandering while training is fun occasionally, but usually it's better if you're not forced to move too far just to find a certain shape or structure .
Urban spots are sometimes monotonous with only one or two types of structures repeating itself. Thus you have to choose beforehand, what kind of sport specific training you want to do and then find a matching spot. You also might have to choose the training partners according to the spot, if the spot doesn't offer enough scale of difficulty for different skill levels. In parkour it's essential to combine movements to create many kind of runs and lines. In order to do that it’s good to have obstacles rather close to each other instead of having to run a long way just to combine a movement to another.
A good spot also offers some unique and unexpected structures. A good spot surprises you even after a long time often thanks to versatility and small details, that wake your interest again and again or that you just haven't noticed before. Unexpected structures challenge you to creative thinking and problem solving.