Bad Design Should Be a Crime


Why are the benches in the park at Schaefer Landing, just south of the Williamsburg Bridge, in Brooklyn, so ridiculous? 

Owing to a particularly stupid design, they’re only a month or two old and already filled with trapped garbage. 

Are these swept out daily? Weekly? How much energy is wasted performing this exercise that a better design would have precluded? I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Located at 420 Kent Avenue, in a new luxury development on the Brooklyn waterfront, they’re in a flood zone. In a decade or so the whole place will be underwater.

So why would the developers (who care about money, not livability or the suckers who buy into these schemes) give a damn about a few lousy benches? 

But as long as housing is treated as a commodity, to be built primarily to enrich investors, and not as a human right, we will see such things.

Decommodify housing!

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Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at and on twitter @elliot_sperber.