Bars, dividers make spaces less welcome to homeless: Observers

Public benches with dividers at Kreta Ayer Square. Observers point to the growing prevalence of such designs, saying they are prime examples of urban features that are "defensive" or "hostile" towards the homeless. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Public benches with dividers at Kreta Ayer Square. Observers point to the growing prevalence of such designs, saying they are prime examples of urban features that are "defensive" or "hostile" towards the homeless. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
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Public spaces in Singapore have been designed to be unwelcome to the homeless - and as a response to citizens complaining about rough sleepers in their midst, according to architects and experts.

With an uptick in rough-sleeping during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government and community partners have stepped up to build more shelters. Government data in July revealed that some 800 homeless families and individuals were occupying these shelters.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2020, with the headline Bars, dividers make spaces less welcome to homeless: Observers. Subscribe