Within the Article “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment” Sarah Schindler brings to light a method of exclusion that most people are ignorant to. Schindler explains as a society we have some what addressed and overcome forms of exclusion such as racial ordinances, segregation by businesses, and verbal threats, yet there still lies a form that most aren’t consciously aware of. This form is called Architectural Exclusion which is the exclusion of specific personnel due to the design of the architecture which can have various affects on an environment such as a regulation of behavior and subconscious racially motivated decision making.
For instance, Schindler gives an example of a low bridge that Robert Moses specifically designed so that mas transit, such as public buses, could not pass through the area. Seeing as though very few minorities actually own cars this was a very creative/legal form of segregation intended to keep the lower class citizens of NYC from easily accessing Jones Beach. Schindler noted that, “-we tend to view such bridges as innocuous features rather than as exclusionary objects.”(1954)
Another example Schindler presented was the use of one way streets and grid patterns in order to direct traffic away from wealthier neighborhoods. Specifically Schindler concentrated on Greenmount Avenue in East Baltimore which was used to “-separate the poor, predominantly African-American neighborhood of Waverly on its east side from the wealthy, predominantly white neighborhood of Guilford on its west.” The way the two-way cross streets were designed it made it extremly difficult for Waverly residents to get to Guilford yet quite convientent for Guilford residents to access Waverly(1970).
To conclude, Sarah Schindler wrote this article to bring awareness of the unjust utilization of architectural exclusion to the general public. Within architectural plans the government has been able to get away with manipulating the spacial mode of communication without majority of the public even noticing. By law this social injustice is legal even though it is no different from hanging a whites only sign in a saloon window. Over time we as citizens have become accustom to the way our communities are structured furthermore promoting the longevity of this discriminatory tactic. After reading this article Sarah Schindler hopes to inspire her readers to promote change to this ongoing phenomenon.