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Architecture on the Defensive | THE URBANIST | November 12, 2015

“Last February, over 10,000 people successfully petitioned for the removal of anti-homeless spikes installed on the exterior ledges of a store in Manchester, England. In March, public outcry forced a church in San Francisco to halt its use of an automated system that doused water on people sleeping in their doorway. Opponents in both cities were outraged at the inhumane treatment of people who have nowhere to sleep but outside. I am also an opponent of what is often called “defensive architecture.” The term describes elements in public spaces, like spikes or jets of water that deter people from sleeping or sitting. What I find curious is that defensive architecture is ubiquitous and large-scale public response is rare. Benches have long been fitted with ridges to keep anyone from lying down on them; low walls have been given spikes to keep them from becoming seats. Perhaps the pervasiveness of these interventions renders them invisible?”

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Urban Observations | TUMBLR | Started 2015 – Ongoing
Images of and thoughts on urban displacement and resistance.