Reply To: Ugly buildings

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Originally posted by Rory W
A few points on the Central Bank:

2) the railings – I think that it is only fair to the employees that they don’t have to walk through groups of goth kids sitting on the steps or flying at them on skateboards or winos drinking, puking etc on the steps. Since these ‘members of society’ have acted in the way that they did – the railings had to go up. I wouldn’t like to have to deal with this every day on my way in and out of work, it IS intimidating – would you?

Firstly I think it is important that you should realise that there is a large difference between goths and skateboarders, both of whom I should say have just as much right to the city as the bankers do. Secondly I think that you should also realise that ‘members of society’ such as winos puking on the steps have often ended up in this situation through no fault of their own. To rail off these areas is to live in a city where nothing happens, a world where you do not have to think. This sort of world is more like an artist impression of an urban area than reality. The attitude shown to our public spaces in the urban areas of this country are getting out of control and very worrying. Last summer I was in Placa dels Angels in Barcelona. This is the plaza where Richard Meier’s Museum of Contemporary Art is situated. There were skaters enjoying themselves by interpreting the city in an imaginative way. The only time I saw a security guard was when they came out for a cigarette. This is not to say that the skaters were the only ones in the plaza. There were people sitting, children playing, people just walking through and the restaurants had seats outside on the plaza (where I watched this spectacle from). Finally I don’t find this sort of activity intimidating whatsoever. The more that different activities are segregated and outlawed within the city the less understanding we have of them. The more this happens the more we will feel intimidated by them.

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