Blind Architectural Discrimination

In Parts I and II of Sarah Schindler’s Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment, she discusses the impact that built environments have on our every day lives. Schindler defines “the built environment [as] man-made physical features that make it difficult for certain individuals—often poor people and people of color—to access certain places”. Various physical aspects of cities and suburban areas are designed in an effort to dictate the type of people who enter these spaces. An example that she uses is some bridges have been designed to be low enough as to prevent buses that provide pubic transportation from being able to drive underneath. Schindler brings awareness to the fact that wealthy, often white, communities vote against transit stops in their suburban neighborhoods because they do not want poor people or people of color in their neighborhoods. These wealthy individuals are directly contributing to the geographic divide between upper class and lower class Americans.  Other examples of “exclusionary urban design” include “street grid layouts, one-way streets, the absence of sidewalks and crosswalks”, all of which are unnoticeable to the average person but were established for a specific reason by the city. The authorities shape our experiences and interactions with the city in ways that we do not even realize, and Schindler aims to make her audience aware of this. Some recognition has been given to these exclusionary issues, however, many influential individuals who have the power to make a change still do not bring the amount of awareness that Schindler feels is necessary.park bench

Schindler, Sarah. “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment.” Yale Law Journal. Yale Law Journal, Apr. 2015. Web. 23 Jan. 2016. <>.