Displacement is expensive: Government rent-a-fence and security cost $600,000
Homeless people didn’t spray paint church wall
After Tent City was shut down, the B.C. government rented fences and hired security to close off the property for ten months, at a cost of $600,000. That’s interesting for two reasons. First, you can buy lots of things for $600,000, and second, they hid those costs from reporters and the public.
Skaters, back off!
When the Central Baptist Church built a wall to keep people out of a sheltered space alongside the church, the wall was quickly spray painted with the words “Hate Gate? WWJD?” Some Victorians were aghast. Who would do such a thing? Who would build a wall to displace — wait. They were mad about the spray paint?
VicPD and the BC government: Purveyors of fine Victorian fences
Walking around town it’s obvious that a great deal of energy has been expended on policing skateboarders. They’re banned from certain areas, and everywhere you look metal obstacles have been installed to prevent grinding on ledges, railings, and benches.
Eating 100 pounds of Tent City soil won’t get you high
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a city and VicPD-endorsed policy that recommends using fences, rocks, lighting, and surveillance to make spaces unusable or inaccessible to poor and homeless Victorians. VicPD reports show that CPTED is not about “crime,” but about pushing people further to the margins. And the provincial government is an active participant.
Displacegrounds, Part 2
When the province announced it was building a playground on the Tent City property, it said the soil needed to be removed to deal with “contaminants” including methamphetamines. The media duly reported that information, and why not? We can’t have children running around on meth-y soil in the Garden City. They might get a contact high!
Displacegrounds, Part 1
When City Council updated its parks bylaws, it banned camping in playgrounds. Since that time, some members of the public have been demanding playgrounds in order to displace homeless campers from Tent City and other locations.
When is a planter not a planter?
At the risk of being unpopular, let me suggest the following: the two proposed play areas for downtown Victoria – at the former Tent City site, and Reeson Park, a.k.a. the Whale Wall – are first and foremost about displacing poor and homeless Victorians. Creating space for children and families is a distant and secondary goal.
Defensive architects don’t want you to know this one weird trick
Last week the CBC published an article about a Vancouver property management company installing concrete balls to block people from accessing alcoves. Vancouver’s hate balls haven’t rolled across the Salish Sea quite yet, but Victoria is already doing much the same thing.
Please look away from the spikes
The sloppily added bricks on the planter in Odeon Alley are an obvious example of defensive architecture, but there are plenty of aggressive pieces out there, policing Victorians’ sitting habits. Let’s take a quick tour.
Victoria's grumpiest alley
The art at Yates and Douglas is an exercise in pretending Victoria’s downtown is a fun, welcoming place for everyone to enjoy. It might even draw your eyes away from the multiple attempts to police and exclude people from the same space.
No sitting; no smoking; walking okay but we’re not thrilled about it
Odeon Alley isn’t just policed by Cineplex on the theatre’s north-side turf. The south side of the alley is both public and private, and defensive architecture runs its entire length.
Odeon Alley – also known as Millie’s Lane and Maynard Court – runs beside the Odeon Theatre, from Johnson to Yates. It’s peppered with signs telling you what not to do. Rule number one: “no loitering.”