Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
  • Author
  • #174553
    Ryan Sand

    I am currently looking for any precedents in programming or developments for addressing social inequality or in particular homelessness. If you have any leads, please feel free to share.

    Aaron Wiener

    I too am looking for precidents addressing homelessness, particularly parks and urban agricultural developments. Does anyone have any suggestions?


    I found these:


    Lucy Wang

    You might take a look at the search archive here: http://inhabitat.com/index.php?s=homeless

    Since it’s just a search, you’ll probably have to weed through a few that just mention the word ‘homeless,’ but there are some really good projects in there.

    Tosh K

    Read Walter Hood and check out some of his projects.

    Ryan Sand


    Tosh K

    “Urban Diaries” and “Blues & Jazz Landscape Improvisations” are two of his monographs you should look into.  I recall one of his projects involving homeless – providing spaces for them as part of the public in a public park.  One of the take-aways I learned was that not everyone needs to do everything in a public space, it’s ok that some spaces are designed to be conducive for activities by specific demographic groups.  Splash Pad Park is one recent example.

    Walter’s writing is very powerful, definitely a must read.

    Vladimir Sitta

    Check Walla Mulla and Bourke Street Parks, City of Sydney, Australia

    Aaron Wiener

    Thank you for the reply, I will look into it

    Tanya Olson

    Check out Supportive Housing. This is primarily created for homeless people with a history chronic substance abuse. This is a concept being used throughout MN and I believe in Washington or Oregon with great success. No – it doesn’t address the root causes of addiction and social inequality. It meets people where they currently are and moves forward from there under the philosophy of harm reduction. 





    I’m sorry………well, not really.  But, I have a problem taking this person’s discussion SERIOUSLY.

    Well, of course I feel very badly for those Americans who are living in poverty or very sub-standard living conditions.  But, in a Nation (like AMERICA)…..there will always be certain aspects of inequality….and, I’m really referring to “economic inequality”.  In a FREE society, which is comprised of capitalism and free enterprise….there will always be poor, middle class and the wealthy.  IF we were ALL “equal”…….we’d be living in RUSSIA.  Well, actually, I believe in Russia….you’re either wealthy or poor.  The Gov’t likes it that way.

    Personally, I believe if you’re in Landscape Architecture and seriously concerned about social or housing inequality……you’re in the WRONG field.  There are other more applicable professions that address these problems. AND to, you can always donate food, clothing or money to the charity of your choice. 

    Sorry…..just expressing my opinion.


    Yeah the best way to deal with homeless people in our public space is to not provide them with places to rest their bones. It doesn’t matter if the tax paying public ends up with crappy public space – just keep those people moving.  If a city really has its act together they keep them out of site as much as possible…like NY. Hassle them until they go hang out in a less desirable place. That way we don’t have to deal with people with mental health issues and substance abuse problems, even though many of them are veterans of our armed forces or just good people down on their luck.

    Sheesh, if we could keep the musicians, skateboarders and street artist away there might be more room for the “nice” people. Who says we LAs need to care anyway?


    For me, there’s nothing wrong about being seriously concerned about homeless people, especially if you’re in a third world country. But if you ask me, pertaining to projects and modern designs nowadays that involve 2-in-1 benches (seating on day, a shelter during the night thing), I guess it provokes more homeless people to stay “homeless”. If we continuously “spoon feed” them,  then eventually they’ll start thinking that they can live there (for example in a public space) which is, in contrary to a government’s goal of providing them “real” homes. 

    Tanya Olson

    Yeah. Because being homeless is so awesome, who wouldn’t want to stay homeless for a free sandwich every day? Personally, I just love sleeping in a bleach-smelling cell with a plastic mattress and thin holey blankets. Its totally worth it even if I can’t get into the shelter until 10:30 at night and have to leave again at 6 in the morning. And who wouldn’t love sleeping in a park-bench tent in -14 weather. Its just like winter camping! That is the life!

    But seriously folks, some of you are seriously out of touch / misinformed about what it really means to be homeless, who is homeless and why people are homeless. There are a wide variety of reasons people become homeless, including mental illness, substance addiction and domestic abuse, but the greater reason is the lack of a safety net that I would bet money we all have access to – and that’s not a government safety net, but a family-community-health-cognitive safety net that most of us take for granted. 

    And PLEASE don’t tell us that nobody ever helped you a day in your life, you got where you were all on your own because that is absolute bunk. Struggles are NORMAL. Not having the social-emotional-cognitive-health resources to overcome those struggles is what puts people at risk for homelessness. 

    Robert, you’re entitled to your opinion but I find it extremely disturbing. I don’t expect every landscape architect to have fighting homelessness on their list of “top 10 reasons I became a landscape architect”, but it is ABSOLUTELY within our purview. In fact, in areas of high homeless populations we might be thought of as being negligent in our life and safety responsibilities NOT to take this population into consideration. I had no idea that being a landscape architect excused us from involvement in serious societal issues – and in fact our profession is, at least in the United States, BASED on this. Central Park was conceived of and created as a ‘pressure release’ for the extreme poverty and poor living conditions that New Yorkers faced at that time.

    Providing food, shelter and other resources for indigent people is not making people ‘equal’ or some great communist plot. It IS a moral and ethical response to people in need. 

    Ryan Sand

    To Robert J. Wainer:  it is not the re-stabilizing of social/economic levels that is the goal.  If you believe that our profession is based solely on creating furniture details that effect an experience, I respectfully ask you to rethink your view of the profession.  Our sites become the venue for interaction dictated by what we include/omit/arrange.  Security is a metric that I recognize as important.  How does one make a secure place? Does security solely mean kicking out “unwanted”?  Does it mean compartmentalizing?  Is there reintegration involved?  (Forgive me if I mis-quote you Mr Hood) but I believe Walter Hood expressed the potential of spaces to be wholly public, despite the offensive perceptions of other public dwellers?  

    For security and urban design I was impressed the case study provided by VPUU within the documentary Urbanized (http://openarchitecturenetwork.org/projects/dlygad2_vpuu)

    I am not the most educated on social deprivation (this talk is actually inspiring me to study it at least a little more deeper).  I have heard that for a person to experience such intense deprivation for 1 year can permanently damage an individual.  To further isolate the incident is increasing potential effect as compared to healthy public exchange within public space and the potential it has to reverse ill-effects.  All people are subject to social deprivation, and social inequality may be deterred if such design encouraged healthy social interaction.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Lost Password