After reading “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment” by Sarah Schindler, I was inspired to read further into the subject. I was surprised by how often in society the physical design of the built environment has been manipulated for a prejudice goal. One of the best examples I found was the physical barrier of Lake Providence, Lousiana. This historically beautiful lake divides the town into two sides: the rich and the poor. While other factors such as inherited wealth and poverty and a missing middle class have influenced the social makeup of the society, the physical barrier that the lake provides makes it harder for people on either side of the lake to interact. These factors have made Lake Providence the town with the highest income inequality in the country. It is apparent in the racial divide, the differences in the public and private high school, and the visible difference in the quality of life between the people who live on either side of the lake.
This CNN report by John D. Sutter is interesting, informing, and is an important example of how the built environment can contribute to societal segregation.