Cataloging inequality in the contemporary city
In the contemporary political climate, border walls, refugee camps and security fences have become iconic representations of power and inequality. But what if the most impactful urban divisions are actually much more subtle? A multitude of spatial and architectural cues mark exclusion throughout cities globally. More often than not, these divisions live in our own backyards (and in architects’ drawing sets).
At the same time, the homogenous city is not the answer. Division can give communities a sense of identity, place, or safety. Yet we must understand who has agency in building such boundaries, and who has the capital and ability to traverse them.
As a starting point, EVIDENCE is a tool for recognizing urban divides. An ever-growing catalog of photos, videos, and other media, EVIDENCE gathers together a record of how we experience spatial inequality in cities everyday. While inequality and gentrification have flooded everyday discourse, they still remain abstract. Tangible proof of how these processes impact the built environment can enable a more productive conversation and more conscientious practitioners.
EVIDENCE is an off-shoot of Perspecta 50: Urban Divides, the Yale Architectural Journal
In collaboration with ELL San Francisco.