Urban Affairs Review
Co-authored by #UnequalCities Network members Christopher Giamarino and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris
Abstract: This article focuses on national and local anti-homeless ordinances and investigates emerging spatial banishment strategies and their impacts on unhoused folks’ basic freedoms. First, we review debates on co-existing geographies of punishment and care through theoretical and legal lenses. Focusing on sixteen cities in the United States, we examine categories of anti-homeless ordinances and their evolution in the past two decades. Next, we focus on Los Angeles and use archival research and interviews with activists to examine the expansion of newly emerging anti-homeless spaces. Our research details ad hoc strategies of spatial banishment targeting homelessness. We find that the city represents a fragmented landscape of “no-gozones” for the unhoused. We posit that the COVID-19 pandemic enabled various spatial banishment strategies and that Los Angeles is neo-revanchist. We advocate for city policies that abolish spatial banishment strategies and respond to the needs of the unhoused.