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There’s a good chance that if you’ve walked around in any city, you’ve passed by defensive architecture. It’s all around us and it shapes the fabric of the city—which is why it’s important to understand what defensive architecture is. According to Toronto-based urban planning researcher Cara Chellew, “Defensive urban design, also known as hostile, unpleasant, or exclusionary architecture is a type of persuasive design used to guide behaviour in urban space by designing out specific uses of street furniture or the built environment as a form of crime prevention or protection of property” (Chellew, “About”). In other words, defensive or hostile architecture is architecture designed to limit the ways in which a space can be used. These subtle design implementations act as miniature zoning laws that dictate appropriate uses of public space. Our goal is to educate people on what hostile architecture looks like and who it impacts.

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About

What does defensive architecture mean, why does it exist, and what challenges does it bring?

 
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Take Action

Take a look at a map of hostile architecture found in Washington, DC and submit your own examples.

 
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