11 Ways Your City Controls You Without You Knowing It

Have you ever walked the streets and felt watched? Or worse, have you had that uncomfortable suspicion that your behavior and movements are being controlled? Certainly, most of the time this “spider sense” is nothing more than mere superstition.

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Your City Is Controlling You

However, perhaps your paranoia is well justified. Your own city could be shaping your behavior and controlling your actions right now without you noticing it in the slightest. All over the world, these practices of collective behavior control are so common and everyday that they are no longer bothering practically everyone.

1 – Fake security cameras.

Setting up a video surveillance center is not cheap, which is why some cities choose to combine real cameras with fake cameras to prevent crime in public places. The disappointment comes when it is discovered that the camera that should have filmed the whole thing is nothing more than a metal casing.

Fake security cameras

2 – Oddly shaped benches.

No, it’s not about the cityscape taking on a “modernist” feel. This kind of bench has the simple purpose of making people not feel comfortable in them. As you just read it – at least, don’t sit for too long. They are purposely uncomfortable so that people don’t sit for long periods of time or use them for other purposes, such as ambulantism.

Oddly shaped benches

3 – Benches with arm rests.

These “armrests” are not primarily intended for your comfort, they are there to prevent the homeless from taking public benches as their private beds.

Benches with arm rests

4 – Public trash cans with small openings.

They are designed in this way to prevent passers-by or neighbors from throwing things that are too large and filling them up in a short time, thus forcing people to use their own means to dispose of large waste.

Public trash cans with small openings
Public trash cans with small openings

5 – Chunks of metal randomly placed on surfaces.

These types of installations, which at first glance seem random and without reason, make a lot of sense and intention. Through these metal bars, the practice of skateboarding is avoided, which in many cities is considered a harmful practice.

Chunks of metal randomly placed on surfaces
Chunks of metal randomly placed on surfaces
Chunks of metal randomly placed on surfaces

6 – Low bridges.

You’ve probably come across a very low bridge once, and thought “how silly to make such a low bridge”. These low bridges have, like everything we have shown before, well-defined purposes: to prevent trucks, heavy machinery or very tall vehicles from circulating in certain areas of the city.

Low bridges

7 – Buildings with the lights on.

“What an injustice, there are still people working at this time.” That may be the case in some companies, but there’s another reason as well. Some cities require that certain rooms, especially those with large windows and facing the street, be kept with the lights on. Again, this serves to prevent the practice of crimes, as it suggests to the offender the possibility that he is being watched.

Buildings with the lights on

8 – Blue lights in public restrooms.

It’s a growing enlightenment practice, and the intent is that users of injectable drugs, such as heroin, can’t find the vein to inject.

Blue lights in public restrooms
Blue lights in public restrooms

9 – Pyramids, undulations and cobblestones under bridges and other places.

A simple and effective zero-tolerance measure against the homeless who build their private shelters under bridges, viaducts or anywhere else where they are not welcome.

Pyramids, undulations and cobblestones under bridges and other places
Pyramids, undulations and cobblestones under bridges and other places

10 – Lined posts.

Due to the ridiculous amount of advertising that is usually placed on the poles, many cities have started to coat them with a material that prevents the adhesion of these advertisements.

Lined posts

11 – Empty patrol cars.

There are cities that can afford to have spare patrol cars, and in these places it is common for them to park those surplus patrols at strategic points to, once again, communicate that feeling that you are being watched and inhibit the practice of crime, especially traffic offenses.

Empty patrol cars