How might we improve inclusivity in urban design practices for Calgary’s rough sleepers?
When examining the relationship between humans and space, urban design plays a role in how individuals interact within an environment. While these practices typically create greater functionality for residents, they can also intentionally discourage certain demographics from using spaces. By interfering with the use of public space, hostile design practices disregard human consideration and further marginalize groups, such as homeless populations. These practices have been implemented by municipalities and building developers to displace rough sleepers in the name of crime prevention.
Ranging from architectural structure, seating and anti-homeless spikes, the privatization of space has begun to spark controversy for its mistreatment of humans. Through the correction of these practices, society can better establish inclusivity without negatively impacting the perceived safety of a space.
How might we understand the needs of newcomers beyond the integration services offered in Calgary?
Integration programs and services for newcomers are abundant in Calgary. The five main settlement agencies — Calgary Immigrant Education Society, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, Immigrant Services Calgary, and Centre for Newcomers — offer over 150 programs and services for newcomers around the city.
Despite the number of services, newcomers still seem to encounter problems such as isolation, and finding adequate employment and housing. The gaps between service provision and settling are increasing due to time, government, family dependency, financial barriers and incomplete employment skills training. These gaps create barriers between newcomers and the programs and services available to them.