Government-sanctioned defensive architecture
This post provides an update on the creeping progress of government-sanctioned defensive architecture. In April I wrote about how provincial government agencies are working with the police to come up with ways to displace people. One of those agencies is B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office: defenders of deer, protectors of porcupines, and… shredder of shrubs?
To stop “unwanted activity” in the passageway at 836 Yates Street, the police suggested cutting down some bushes to allow for “natural surveillance” by the public, to “assist in deterring and preventing crime in this area.”
The Environmental Assessment Office was eager to comply, moving from this:
I thought that was going to be the end of it, but it turns out they actually chose the police’s ‘Option Two’: “removing the foliage and filling the planters with concrete and rocks.” It’s not a great look:
When I walked by during this concrete-and-rock stage, people were, horror of horrors, still sitting on the ledge! Waiting for the bus, hanging out, whatever. I guess somebody told the Environmental Assessment Office that ugly metal fences are hot this year, because that’s what they did next:
To summarize, the provincial government met with the police, cut down bushes, dumped some big rocks in a planter, cemented those rocks in place, and added a fence. All to reduce the chances that their employees might have to see people who are living in poverty – a direct consequence of their government’s own policies.