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Defensive Architecture is Keeping Some People out of Public Spaces

Ocean Howell discusses defensive architecture

Image via CBC Radio

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Ocean Howell joins a discussion on CBC Radio about defensive architecture. Also speaking is the London based actor Alex Andreou, who experienced homelessness himself six years ago, and Ute Lehrer an associate professor of urban planning at York University. They discuss the ways in which public space actively seeks to exclude individuals – such as the homeless and skateboarders.

“It’s not just homeless people who see the city as something that’s been designed against them. Another group have been called the canary in the coal mine of defensive architecture — skateboarders. 

To the city’s rule enforcers, such as security guards, skateboarders can represent a noisy and destructive scourge. But they can also be instructive — especially when it comes to how governments manage public space. 

To talk about this idea, we were joined by Ocean Howell. He’s a professor of history and architectural history at the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. He is also a former professional skateboarder.”

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