While walking down a bustling area of Manhattan trying to make your way around the city, if you glance over to your right and see metal balls and spikes on the ground, it is nothing out of the ordinary. You don’t think too much of it. It’s there and it doesn’t affect you in any way. But what if you take the time to stop and contemplate about why it is there?
What comes to your mind?
Is it just there because someone decided to install this type of architecture?
What was the reasoning behind it?
If someone were to tell you about how certain types of architecture inconveniences the homeless, it may help you put two things together, and something that you thought had no connection suddenly correlates with one another.
Hostile architecture or also known as anti-homeless architecture is interesting because it is not a commonly known issue. New York City has a large homeless population, and it is likely that wherever you go, you are bound to see people heckling, loitering and sleeping outdoors. The best way to increase awareness of an issue is to first be, of course, aware of the issue and then to learn about what it is. Change can start at any moment, starting with one person, which is why I chose to target community members – young children attending school, working adults and the elderly too. Writing a short informative essay allows readers to learn exactly what anti-homeless architecture is, why it exists, and how someone can help the homeless population. The internet provides easy access to the article, and parts of the article can be printed and posted around a community with little to no effort to help spread awareness. There is no need to stop someone on the street and start a 10-minute conversation with them, as the pictures itself should raise curiosity within someone. The various photos and diverse types of benches depicted show that architectural designs are harmful and found all over the world. The article along with the photos should be thought provoking and raise the question, why? Why are things like this? Why is harmful architecture widely accepted throughout major cities? Even if you think that anti-homeless architecture does not affect you personally, you can still help the homeless community without changing much of your daily life. The homeless community is a part of our community. It may be hard convincing one to care about anti-homeless architecture because they are unlikely to be majorly affected by it, but by informing people about ways to give back, maybe one day, they’ll decide to volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to food pantries, or maybe support a local business that gives back to the community.