So here we are at day 9 of the Jam Unacceptable campaign.
Yesterday we presented an image of pre-beautification project, Pandora Green.
Today’s image helps to illustrate Victoria’s crooked path of gentrification and marginalization (pun intended).
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the cityscape we see around us is composed of elements that began as a blueprint in the mind of a designer, a designer who was responding to particular problems as identified by particular people. In the case of this walkway built as part of the beautification of Pandora Green, we can see how city design serves the interests of property owners and generates marginalization.
“Do we try and accommodate all that gathering out there on the boulevard or not accommodate it and try and disperse it? Get it out of there, knowing full well that it will just push the problem somewhere else. Some of the things we talked about in the design, it ranged from everything from fencing off the whole area, putting in a rock garden, putting in mass plantings of spiky roses, deterrent paving. We came to the conclusion that we don’t want to physically deny the space to people. With the walkway we thought it was a subtle approach to the dispersion idea.”
If we are going to take the problem of homelessness seriously we cannot simply make plaintive appeals to our institutions to make things better. These institutions are already hard at work building marginalization into the architecture of the city.