The basic problem of homelessness is the need for personal shelter, warmth, and safety. They are often faced with many social disadvantages also, reduced access to private and public services, gaps in their personal infrastructuresand reduced access to vital necessities:
Using the spikes issue as a case study, contextualise hostile architecture within these broader processes and in wider patterns of urban securitisation.
The article then offers an explanatory framework for understanding the controversy itself. Ultimately the article questions whether the public backlash against the use of spikes indicates genuine resistance to patterns of urban securitisation or, counterintuitively, a broader public distaste for both the homeless and the mechanisms that regulate them.
Keywords ostile architecture; London; urban securitisation; public space; neoliberalism; homelessness. Please cite this article as: Petty J The London spikes controversy: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution.
The London Spikes Controversy: The controversy originated on Twitter after a user known as EthicalPioneer posted a photo of the studs see Figure along with the text: So much for community spirit: The controversy prompted vocal debates about urban space, homelessness and an apparently new and novel feature in the urban landscape: Within a week, the spikes were removed by the building s management despite being installed on private property and not breaking any local planning laws.
The public outcry against these particular spikes temporarily highlighted two facets of urban life that go largely ignored in mainstream popular discourse: This example is not taken as representative of processes of urban securitisation happening around the world nor indicative of public attitudes towards such regimes.
Nonetheless, it provides an interesting case study through which to consider certain social, cultural and political dimensions relating to public space within cities. EthicalPioneer ostile architecturealso known as defensive or disciplinary architecture, is a relatively recent term.
All such measures are aimed at exerting some form of disciplinary control over users of public and urban spaces. Over several decades, various researchers and theorists have identified and tracked the increasing securitisation of urban and public space in contemporary cities Deukmedjian ; ayward ; Lippert and Walby ; Sorkin.
Davis for example, identifies the militarisation of the urban spaces of cities — in his case, Los Angeles — through explicit fortification barbed wire, spiked fences, and bumproof benches of urban space, which he describes as the strategic armouring of the city against the poor Davis: Other researchers have claimed that public space is becoming increasingly privatised Blomley ; Mitchell ; White.
This can occur officially by city councils excluding certain groups from spaces owned by the city, as well as through the selling or leasing of public land to private entities see Wright.
Such shifts highlight contemporary changes in the social construction of urban public spaces that reveal the overt influence of a series of interrelated developments: This article is concerned with the identification of certain forms of urban securitisation as hostile architecture, a pejorative term usually used to signify opposition to the structure identified.Listerizing not an analysis of smiths article about homelessness and space and scale dangerous that sadistically an analysis of maxwells demon and tristero system in the crying of lot 49 emplaced?
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