When Architecture Turns Hostile


This image is part of the reason that many cities around the world have adopted a new urban design many are calling "hostile architecture". This is when spaces are designed to discourage people from using them in a way not intended. Primarily this is aimed at skateboarders and the homeless preventing skaters from riding and homeless people from using benches to sleep. Most important is to keep people from camping out there. Seattle recently had backlash about placing bike racks under a bridge people used as camp, while a city in Germany used spikes to deal with the issue. 

Although the intention of the structures is to prevent loitering it could be more divisive according to urban designer Malcolm Mackay says in a recent ABC News article, "Its use, however, as an instrument for urban segregation — to separate those entitled to access public space from those deemed undesirable — is a growing phenomenon." 

This has sparked the debate of should cities focus on creating affordable housing instead of just preventing people from being able to see it.


FamiliesMichael Hooker