To be honest, I’ve never thought that hostile architecture would make its way to Singapore. There would have been no want nor need to implement these structures. After all, homeless rates are low and void deck weddings, funerals and sports are still a thing. In a country that focuses on community and heart, it would be ridiculous to set up structures that blatantly shoos people off “traditional” communal spaces, right?
When the barriers were set up, I guess it was more disappointment than shock. While it sounded like warning bell to most, some highlighted that it has been going on for quite a while. Then again, it has been done ever so subtly that I’ve come to realise certain changes only after it was highlighted by online communities.
An example would be the removal of that classic rounded stone tables, and them being replaced by steel benches with additional handles placed in the middle other than simply on the sides. They hence made it impossible for one to lie down on them or for people to gather together.
Tolerance, heritage, image and rules are becoming interlinked issues in Singapore. Will this be a one-off thing or there’s more to come out of this, we shall see.
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