It’s not just smokers who are unwelcome.
I came across this today. It’s a paint that repels liquids, including urine.
I couldn’t help think of the numerous occasions when I’ve found myself in need of taking a leak, with not a toilet for miles.
The high-tech nano-paint – called Ultra-Ever Dry – was originally piloted by the car industry to keep dirt off vehicles.
But in Hamburg’s clubbing district, where local residents say the streets regularly end up like a ‘sewer’, activists found a novel new use for it.
They have now put up signs on walls across the area reading ‘do NOT pee here – we pee back’.
Manchester has suffered similar problems to Hamburg, particularly in the popular Northern Quarter, where drunk revellers frequently use doorways as urinals.
All it will succeed in doing is move the problem to a different doorway. And if all walls and doorways have the same coating, it’ll move it out into the middle of the road. The thing to do is to provide more public toilets.
It reminded me of the anti-homeless spikes in the news last year.
Boris Johnson has called for anti-homeless spikes outside a luxury block of London flats to be removed immediately, describing them as “ugly, self-defeating and stupid”.
The mayor of London urged the owner of the private block of deluxe apartments to remove the inch-high metal studs, which triggered outrage when a picture of them was posted online at the weekend.
He tweeted on Monday: “Spikes outside Southwark housing development to deter rough sleeping are ugly, self defeating & stupid. Developer should remove them ASAP.
“We’ve spent £34m on the likes of ‘no 2nd night out’ [which aims to ensure no one spends more than one night on the streets], reaching 3/4s of rough sleepers, but must do more. Spikes are simply not the answer.”
And the Camden bench:
It is called the Camden bench, after the local authority that originally commissioned the sculpted grey concrete seats found on London streets. The bench’s graffiti-resistant sloping surface is designed to deter both sleeping and skateboarding.
While not as obvious as the stainless steel “anti-homeless” spikes that appeared outside a London apartment block recently, the benches are part of a recent generation of urban architecture designed to influence public behaviour, known as “hostile architecture”….
In addition to anti-skateboard devices, with names such as “pig’s ears” and “skate stoppers”, ground-level window ledges are increasingly studded to prevent sitting, slanting seats at bus stops deter loitering and public benches are divided up with armrests to prevent lying down.
To that list, add jagged, uncomfortable paving areas, CCTV cameras with speakers and “anti-teenager” sound deterrents, such as the playing of classical music at stations and so-called Mosquito devices, which emit irritatingly high-pitched sounds that only teenagers can hear.
“A lot of defensible architecture is added on to the street environment at a later stage, but equally with a lot of new developments it’s apparent that questions of ‘who do we want in this space, who do we not want’ are being considered very early in the design stage,” says the photographer Marc Vallée, who has documented anti-skateboarding architecture.
“Who do we want in this space, who do we not want.”
Who do we want in our world, and who don’t we want?
There seems to be an ever-lengthening list of people to be Excluded From Our World. Smokers. Drinkers. Unsightly fat people. Homeless people. Teenagers. Skateboarders. Needless to say, there will also be drug addicts, drug dealers, hookers, buskers, jugglers, beggars, football (and in fact any ball game at all) players.
All are to be rudely pushed out of sight, and out of mind.