Anti-kid modifications to public steps

Over on the always-excellent Architectures of Control in Design blog, Dan Lockton takes special note of an ugly little bit of anti-kid-ism brewing in Sutton, Surrey: the local council, in the name of "cater[ing] for all sections of the local community," is planning to revise a set of steps where kids gather to, you know, sit and talk to each other and hang out in public. The ensuing discussion is, as Dan notes, "a microcosm of the attitudes, assumptions, prejudices and paranoia that define modern Britain’s schizophrenic attitude to its ‘young people’."

Explaining the need for the changes, St Helier Councillor David Callaghan said: “At the moment the steps are like ready-made seats so changes will be made to make the area less attractive to young people...

[Adrian Short responds:] One thing young people and older people have in common is a desire to be left alone to do their own thing, provided that they are not causing trouble to others. People like Emma and her friends are not. They do not want to be told that they can go to one place but not another. They do not want to be cajoled, corralled and organised by the state – they get enough of that at school. They certainly do not want to be disadvantaged as a group because those in charge – you – are unable to deal appropriately with a tiny minority of troublemakers in their midst.

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