How Sneaky Cities Use Hostile Architecture To Hurt The Homeless

Spiked floors, narrow benches, late-night sprinklers and harsh lighting — it’s called hostile architecture, and it’s targeting vulnerable homeless people worldwide.

To combat the issue of homeless people sleeping rough in public, many cities around Australia and the world are taking steps to make people feel less welcome, or at least less comfortable. You’ve probably noticed some of these design features in your town, described as “nasty” by social services and urban design experts, but never realised why they exist.

  • Cosy concealed corners or alcoves are being built with slanting surfaces, or embedded with spikes, to deter sleeping
  • Park or bus-stop benches are being constructed with narrow ledges not wide enough to support a lying body, or with handrails along the length to make sleeping uncomfortable
  • Harsh lighting and loud music is being splashed into dark quiet areas to flush out loiterers
  • Flat surfaces like window ledges or raised platforms are having uncomfortable metal nubs to make them unattractive for sleeping;
  • Water sprinklers are timed to activate late at night, discouraging people from camping out in parks.

They call it hostile architecture, and if you look around your city, you’re likely to find some examples.

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Source: Ten Daily