Andreína Contreras, a 26-year-old mother of two, lived until this week in the “Tower of David,” in Caracas, Venezuela, which has been described as the world’s tallest slum, because it is situated in an abandoned skyscraper.
She is among an estimated 1,150 families living in the tower who are to be removed and relocated permanently this week, seven years after the officially named Torre Confinanzas was first occupied as a result of Venezuela’s financial crisis... — Vice
As shocking as it is to look upon the rows and rows of makeshift encampments and thousands of roving, hopeless people, perhaps even more shocking is this: Los Angeles is the last major American city with a single district of anything approaching this magnitude of homelessness and extreme poverty [...] — LA Weekly
As the number of homeless people in America’s major cities has increased, so have ordinances criminalizing homelessness and pushing homeless families and individuals into the criminal justice system. Criminalization has become a tactic with which politicians have reconfigured cities to serve wealthier citizens and tourists, at the considerable expense of the poor. — Al Jazeera
Of course, urban spaces are often "cleansed" of homelessness through design. Recently in London, metal spikes were set into the ground of an alcove of a new apartment complex to prevent people from sleeping there. After almost 130,000 people signed a petition, they were removed. This followed a...
Billboards are commanding territory all over the world, offering just a blaring message in their occupation. Some designers have been looking at how to better use this advertising infrastructure, with Slovakia’s Designdevelop proposing a use for the space as small-scale residences for the homeless. — Hyperallergic
Street furniture is mostly used during the day and not used during the night, except by some homeless, who spend the night on the public benches in parks and on squares. RainCity Housing, a non-profit that provides specialized housing for people living with mental illness and addiction, has launched multi-functional street furniture that can be used as seating during the day and ‘comfortable’ sleeping places for the homeless at night time. — popupcity.net
One of the coffin-sized living spaces — which have been built into the bridge frame near the Manhattan entrance — is secured with a flimsy bike lock and bolted to a metal beam by its inhabitant.
The pods are built into the underside of the upper deck, below car traffic but above the subway and bike lanes.
To reach his makeshift studio, the bridge dweller — a stocky, neatly dressed Chinese man in his 40s — climbs a chain-link fence to a nook above the bike lane, witnesses said. — nypost.com
In collaboration with the Preservation League of New York State and New York Landmarks Conservancy, along with $39 million of private, state, and federal funds, Common Ground and Beyer Blinder Belle (the architects behind the Grand Central Station renovations) were able to successfully convert the decrepit building back into a livable residence with 416 single occupancy apartments. — untappedcities.com
The Pop-up HAWSE (Homes through Apprenticeships With Skills for Employment) is a proposal to convert disused lock-up garages in London's Hackney into temporary accommodation for homeless people.
Conceived by Levitt Bernstein Architects for the Building Trust's Home competition, the scheme would allow an 11.5sq m bedsit to be created within a disused garage for around £13,000. — guardian.co.uk
CLIPS OF SEATTLE LIBRARY: INTERVIEW WITH HOMELESS MAN AND SHOTS OF STRUCTURE.
This footage is part of a feature length Documentary film that I am making about my father Rem Koolhaas. — vimeo.com
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has decided to spend $1 million in federal grants — money that had been avidly sought by residents of Skid Row — to instead help out San Francisco–based Gensler, a 2,800-employee giant that enjoyed $463 million in revenue last year. — laweekly.com
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