Designing a More Inclusive City by Allison Arieff

Date: 
Oct 20, 2017

A woman walking dogs outside the San Francisco Civic Center

In the 1990s, San Francisco removed all of the benches from Civic Center Plaza. In 2001, all remaining seating in nearby United Nations Plaza was removed in the middle of the night. Over the years, public seating has been removed from virtually the entire city. While this anti-homelessness strategy has given way a little with the emergence of the city’s many parklets, it’s still in full effect.

Decades after the full-scale seating removal in Civic Center Plaza, there is still nary a bench. Unfortunately, you cannot say the same for the number of unhoused who congregate there. London’s Wellcome Collection is set to open a new show examining the relationship between design and the medical world, showing how graphics has had a pervasive influence.

Read Allison Arieff's Opinion from The New York Times