Hostile urban architecture: A critical discussion of the seemingly offensive art of keeping people away
Keywords:Defensive architecture, hostile architecture, anti-homeless spike, bum-proof benches, urban planning, well-being, right to public space
For many years, some urban architecture has aimed to exclude unwanted groups of people from some locations. This type of architecture is called “defensive” or “hostile” architecture and includes benches that cannot be slept on, spikes in the ground that cannot be stood on, and pieces of metal that hinder one’s ability to skateboard. These defensive measures have sparked public outrage, with many thinking such measures lead to suffering, are disrespectful, and violate people’s rights. In this paper, it is argued that these views are difficult to defend and that much more empirical research on the topic is needed.