Tuesday, 26 March 2019

The Yes Loitering Project. Inclusive Cities for Teenagers

A team of teenagers from the South Bronx, together with partners from various institutions, investigates youth and public space, i.e., how teenagers are targeted in public spaces and their limited access to spaces (via). The team points out that young people "are not simply forgotten in our cities; they are actively rejected from them." Nuisances, criminal threats, lazy, loud, disrespectful, untrustworthy, and misguided are stereotypes that prevail. Cities react with e.g. anti-loitering ordinances, no trespassing laws, noise rules, dress-codes, skating and rollerblading laws, parental escort policies, customer-only rules, hostile architecture, and auditory deterrents like classical music or the Mosquito (via).

"As a teen in New York, it’s a struggle to find a place to get away to. Our parents’ places are usually not big enough to have a bunch of friends over and it offers no privacy, most of us don’t have front or back yards, and even if we have a shared courtyard or open space in our building, there’s usually a “No Loitering” sign posted there.
One of the first things we did as part of the Yes Loitering project was to walk within a one block radius from where we met near E 168th St and Gerard Ave in the Bronx, and document all the signs we saw that discouraged teens from hanging out, such as signs that said No Loitering, No Sitting, No Ball Playing, No Skating, No Biking, No Loud Music, No Hanging Out, No Trespassing, and No Minors, as well as signs with time limits at restaurants and dress-code signs that prohibited hoodies. These signs were everywhere, from residential buildings, to restaurants, to stores, to schools."
The Yes Loitering Project

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photograph (Hilliard Towers Apartments, architecture by Bertrand Goldberg, 1963, Chicago) via