The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf

The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf

The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf


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Jordan Anderson
Staff Writer

Hostile arcitecture’s rampant rise leaves houseless with nowhere to go

Photo by Olivia Beauchemin

Hostile architecture is a method by which urban planners design specific places to be unlivable for homeless people with the intent of eliminating any comfort for them. Focusing on Portland, the number of homeless people is a separate issue that needs to be addressed, and this is an underlying factor as to how hostile architecture has gotten out of control.

Portland politicians dehumanize homeless people when they fund the building of hostile architecture. Not only do they not address the underlying issue – the homeless crisis in Portland – but they make it even more difficult to do so when there are no areas for homeless people to live.

There are plenty of examples of funding going towards unapproved structures or devices used to discourage homeless people from using the areas. According to the PSU Vanguard, Alex Alridge gives an example: the construction of flower boxes in Laurelhurst, a neighborhood whose residents are in the top 15 percent of wealthiest Americans, based on income. These were made without a permit, with the specific goal of intentionally forcing the relocation of homeless people.

If you’ve ever seen a bench that is slightly tilted, or has dividers in the middle, those aren’t to designate seating areas for traveling individuals; they are made to prohibit homeless people from sleeping on them. Where do people expect them to live and sleep if not on a bench that nobody else is occupying? Some businesses have gone so far as to put dull spikes across the entryways of closed doors or window sills to prevent a person from sitting there, many of which aren’t in use and aren’t in the front of said businesses.

Plenty of people who live outside of Portland, and don’t regularly visit, seem to have the most negative things to say about homeless people. Instead of a humane approach, like supporting homeless shelters, they target homeless people. Those who have experienced homelessness or are currently homeless deserve humanity and respect, just as much as someone who has access to a house. A start would be making livable places for said people. Whether that starts with a hostile architecture ban or building more shelters, Portland needs to serve its community. All of its community.

But this isn’t just a Portland issue. This occurs in almost every highly populated area, including both urban and suburban areas, including Tualatin. It needs to be addressed. No city is truly welcoming if it forces the relocation of those who are homeless. As long as these areas choose to fund this kind of architecture, they can’t claim to be welcoming.

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Arlo Dibble, Staff Writer

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