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Homeless urban designers

Cluster is running a series of pieces on the spontaneous cities, favelas, bidonvilles and squatter cities that grow independently “creating their own networks without the help of traditional planning or design”. In the new issue Frederica Verona describes her visits to numerous dormitories, day centres, and soup kitchens in Milan. She discovered that a number of homeless sleep in hidden corners where they will not easily be found by social workers and volunteers. One result is that dormitories, showers and food kitchens – which sound grim anyway – are not located near the people who use them. Mobile units deliver care to street people, but Verona was “amazed at how a mobile service could interrupt the stability of a setting”.

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