Anti-Homeless Architecture

Anti-Homeless architecture, a form of hostile architecture, is becoming more common as cities continue to develop. This particular type of architecture is implemented into the planning of cities, and is specifically intended to deter those experiencing homelessness from finding somewhere to sleep. Once pointed out, you start seeing examples of this type of architecture almost everywhere. Here are a few examples:
1. Benches with armrests.

Armrests on benches make it impossible to lie down on them. You may think these are implemented for reasons of comfort. Instead, armrests on public benches serve to deter those experiencing homelessness from trying to sleep on the bench.

2. Boulders under bridges

Cities place large rocks or boulders under bridges to ensure that no one experiencing homelessness tries to set up camp there.

3. Segmented benches.

Similarly to benches with armrests, city developers segment benches with the purpose of preventing those who are unhoused from laying or sleeping on the benches.

4. Raised grate covers.

These may seem like abstract designs; however, this is not their intended purpose. The placement of raised grate covers is intended to prevent those experiencing homelessness from sleeping on grates to keep warm during cold winter months.

5. Fenced grates.

Again, those experiencing homelessness at times sleep on grates to keep warm during the cold. By fencing these grates off, cities ensure that those experiencing homelessness are unable to do so.

6. Street spikes. 

Spikes have also been a common strategy for cities to deter those experiencing homelessness from sleeping in public areas. Developers have been installing spikes into their pavement so that unhoused individuals are unable to sleep in these areas.

All in all, hostile architecture, and more specifically, anti-homeless architecture, has been increasingly common in the development of cities. The main problem with this is that it is treating a symptom, not the problem. Cities are focusing on driving those experiencing homelessness out of the public eye, but not providing them with somewhere else to stay. Cities, therefore, must begin to develop inclusive and secure areas for those experiencing homelessness so that they are out of the public eye and simultaneously safe and secure.


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