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Homeless in a Hostile City - Part 5

The architecture of our cities is a powerful guide to behaviour, both directly and in its symbolism.

A symbol of a government saying

they are a part of the people...

One of the very first acts of the newly elected Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was to remove the metal barriers between the Hellenic parliament and Syntagma Square.

The effect on the centre of Athens of the removal of this barricade – which represented the strife of the last few years – was almost magical, as if an entire city breathed a sigh of relief.

The symbolism of a government saying that they were a part of the people, rather than apart from the people, was understood by all.

(Continued in Part 6)


'Homeless in a Hostile City' is a collection of ten short stories that highlight the social and emotional impact of hostile architecture in urban centres around the world.

This May 26th and 27th, the City of Toronto makes an event out of opening its doors to the public. At the same time, the city installs and supports the installation of defensive or hostile architecture designed to shoo people away.

There is a dichotomy between DoorsOpenTO and the City's use of defensive architecture.

“Making our urban environment hostile breeds hardness and isolation. It makes life a little uglier for all of us.”


Source: 'Homeless in a Hostile City' is based on a February 2015 article in The Guardian.




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