Posted by Richard Haut on November 26, 2002 at 11:12:20:
In Reply to: Re: The Ethics of Architecture posted by peterb on November 26, 2002 at 06:13:09:
the problem is fascinating - because it is based on a myth.
the great majority of people in low-rent housing - social housing, public housing however one describes it - are perfectly normal and reasonable people who want to live their lives properly. They just don't have a lot of money.
the problem is the minority of people who are disruptive or criminal who give the low-rent areas their bad reputation. Over many decades alternatives have been tried, including the "sink estates" of Britain where only the worst were housed.
there are many examples of well designed and built areas with decent families living where the authorities have started to move in problem people; drug addicts, alcoholics, etc. In a very short time the area becomes dangerous, decent people move out and more trouble moves in.
it is hardly difficult for housing authorities and societies to assess the better-behaved and responsible tenants from others.
this matters because if small-scale developments for the good occupants are put in a variety of areas, then the society within given areas becomes mixed and healthier. However, the troublesome ones themselves need to be treated differently both to help them and to avoid their destructive influence on otherwise peaceful districts.
since this problem has been so well known for so long, and such a large amount of work done on ways of tackling it, there has to be the suspicion that those who still insist on dumping poorer people together actually want a split society.
looking at Britain's fiercely over-priced property market it is clear that that is what Britain already has. Does it make for a harmonious and constructive society ?
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