Poverty exists as a parallel but separate reality. City planners work very hard to keep it outside our field of vision.
It is too miserable, too dispiriting, too painful to look at someone defecating in a park or sleeping in a doorway and think of him as “someone’s son”.
It is easier to see him and ask only the unfathomably self-centred question: “How does his homelessness affect me?”
So we cooperate with urban design and work very hard at not seeing, because we do not want to see. We tacitly agree to this apartheid.
(Continued in Part 9)
'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.