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City Removes Benches Deemed Hostile Design Following Protest

After mounting pressure from within the community, Eastern Iowa officials have decided to install new public benches that don't have centre armrests. This in an effort to allow homeless people to lie down across them.

Members of the community united in an effort to change the benches and create "a public space that is welcoming to all,” says Nichole Novak, a community organizer.

Novak adds, "When people stand up and speak out for what's right as a community organization with a strategy we can move the needle.”

The Iowa City Council will be replacing 14 of the 70 benches in a downtown pedestrian mall with seating that doesn't include centre armrests.

The announcement that the benches will be replaced comes two weeks after protesters marched up Dubuque Street, placing signs on the city's recently installed benches calling their design "hostile" to Iowa City residents.

Adapted from