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Why are cities full of uncomfortable benches?
This one has armrests to prevent you from dozing off.
Here’s another — again with the arms, the stiff metal.
And this one — it’s brand new .
The MTA in New York began installing them as part of a subway enhancement plan.
And they don’t call it a bench.
They prefer the term "leaning bars."
So what if i told you it was designed with discomfort in mind?
New York City is filled with some of the most innovative architecture and urban planning in the world.
Today, nearly every kind of public space here has been developed with close attention to detail.
So these benches are no mistake.
They are designed to allow you to sit but not get too cozy.
And that is intentional.
The concept stems from a school of thought that goes by many names, but today we'll use "defensive design."
Defensive design is about moderating behavior.
The goal is to limit the ways an object can be misused.
These benches have armrests because that will prevent anyone from laying down.
Their short back is another nod to say, "This bench isn’t yours forever."
This trend is worldwide.
And it’s not just in the benches.
When you start looking for defensive designs in New York City, you’ll find examples everywhere.
It’s the presence of security cameras in subway turnstiles or Times Square.
It’s these spikes on this column, meant to deter birds.
It’s the knobs on these ledges, meant to discourage skateboarders.
And there were once sprinklers underneath the awning of this bookstore, to prevent people from sleeping there.
It's sidewalk barriers.
It’s even these regular streetlights.
Streetlights are probably some of the most recognizable defensive designs.
When they surfaced in the 19th-century Western cities, the dynamic of urban life changed.
Because of them, more people spent time outside at night, which drove economic development and a reduction in crime.
Most hostile architecture tries to influence behavior in a similar way.
The designs attempt to make public space a bit more hospitable, more ideal.
Defensive designs can deter crime.
It can prevent the destruction of public property.
And it can prevent loitering.
But there is a reason why defensive design is characterized as “hostile.”
Take the example of the leaning bar.
Disability advocates have a problem with that appearing in the MTA.
One advocate pointed out that "People who travel who have disabilities or just get tired sometimes
need a bench to sit on, not a wall to lean against."
And while no one likes an uncomfortable bench,
these additions mean something more for people who are experiencing homelessness.
The United States is currently experiencing a decline in the overall homeless population.
But in New York city, the number of homeless people is growing.
About 1800 people were found to have been sleeping in the subway.
That’s because emergency shelter isn’t always a viable option.
There are several examples of hostile architecture that target people who are homeless.
These designs imply that public space is not where homeless people should be.
As it goes, city planners have a dilemma — how do they design inclusive cities?
As for the enhanced subway initiative, the MTA’s mock designs highlight new USB ports
and electronic signage in stations.
But you won’t find any press materials highlighting this uncomfortable bench.
Excuse me, the "leaning bar."
That’s because it makes for an uncomfortable discussion about who we design public space for —
and who gets left out.
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為何城市中充滿了不舒適的板凳?(Why cities are full of uncomfortable benches)

9868 分類 收藏
Evangeline 發佈於 2018 年 7 月 9 日    B.Y.l 翻譯    Evangeline 審核

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除了影片中所提到的紐約之外,大家有發現自己所在的城市有類似的設計嗎?

1full of 0:02
full of 有「充滿...的;全神貫注於...的」的意思。
He's always full of energy and enthusiasm.
他總是充滿活力與熱忱。


*同場加映:
【TED-Ed】窺見古羅馬時代年輕人的生活 (A glimpse of teenage life in ancient Rome - Ray Laurence)


2prevent from 0:08
prevent from 有「阻止;制止」之意,prevent someone from something 意思是「避免某人做某事」。
He is very determined. Nothing can prevent him from going to the party.
他心意已決,沒有任何事可以阻止他去那個派對。


*同場加映:
非學不可!危機求生方法:一跑、二躲、三打 (RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.® Surviving an Active Shooter Event - English)


3brand new 0:17
brand new 常當形容詞使用,有「全新的;嶄新的」的意思。
He got a brand new car for his wife as a birthday present.
他送他老婆一輛全新的汽車當作生日禮物。


*同場加映:
碳交易的故事


4viable 3:09
viable 當形容詞,除了有「可以實施的;可望成功的」的意思,也指「能生長發育的;可以存活的」,常用的用法有:economically/politically/scientifically viable 經濟上/政治上/科學上可行的,或是 viable alternative/option 可行的辦法/選擇。
I am afraid your plan is not economically viable.
恐怕你的計劃在經濟上行不通。


*同場加映:
你仍然深信不疑的 7 個運動的迷思 (7 MYTHS You Still Believe About Exercise)


5leave out3:48
影片中為 left out 為 leave out 的過去式,意思是「除去;撇開;忽略」,leave something/somebody out 為「把某人/某事去除、忽略」
Can you double check the list for me and make sure I didn't leave anyone out?
你可以幫我確認一下名單,確保我沒有忽略任何人嗎?


*同場加映:
【TED-Ed】藝術如何幫助你做分析 (How art can help you analyze - Amy E. Herman)


看完影片之後才恍然大悟,身邊有許多匪夷所思的設計都其來有自!

文/ Hsiang Lan Lee

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