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Student op-ed: ‘Hostile architecture’ in cities needs to be eliminated

At a time when America’s big cities, virtually a progressive Democratic monopoly, are suffering from rampant crime not seen in three decades, a Bucknell University student is concerned about their “hostile architecture.”

The main issue is the architecture’s effects on the homeless, Ramón Batista writes in The Bucknellian.

“Hostile architecture,” Batista says, is “sectioned benches, sub-highway or road spikes or metal studs around fountains or walkways.” These “anti-homeless” constructs are an “urban design strategy” by which “certain structures or features of a space are built for the sole purpose of restricting certain kinds of occupation.”

Subway benches which have arm rests in between prevent the homeless from using them as beds, and hence relegate vagrants to the ground. (Why should taxpaying citizens of the city expect a place to sit down while waiting for the train to go to work? You know, so they can pay those taxes?)

A resident of Boston, Batista says he sees hostile architecture all over and considers it an example of an “us vs. them mentality.” If we’re not building houses for the homeless, he says, why then can’t they sleep on benches? Why inconvenience the elderly and pregnant female-identifying persons with uncomfortable slanted chairs? Why can’t skateboarders “grind” on buildings without the inconvenience of “metal notches” and railings?

Having hostile architecture designs creates an overall unwelcoming environment for the community. As governments and businesses use this urban design strategy it creates a less convenient environment for people. It is unethical that the government push away homeless rather than confront the root of the issue. Rather than trying to make the public city spaces available and accessible to all of the community, hostile architecture removes the ability to do that successfully.

In his conclusion, Batista echoes the sentiments of far-left big city district attorneys such as Chesa Boudin of San Francisco and Philadelphia’s Larry Krasner in that public safety and economic concerns cannot justify measures which offend the social justice visions of radical progressives.

You get what you vote for.

Read the op-ed.

MORE: White supremacy’ and ‘racial capitalism’ are infused in the cities: Yale architecture course

MORE: U. Minnesota School of Architecture unveils plan for ‘racial and spatial justice’

IMAGE: minusequalsplus/Flickr.com

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 18 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.