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Reading Summary One : Sarah Schindler


Sarah Schindler describes the architecture exclusion theory and how architecture exclusion is practiced. Architecture regulates human behavior and serves as a physical barrier to poor people and people of color. Sarah Schindler opens up by describing how the “Master Builder” of New York City, Robert Moses, created the city with architectural exclusion in mind. Moses intentionally directed overpasses to be low in order to prevent people of color and poor people from accessing certain areas. Architectural exclusion is considered a built environment. A built environment is characterized by man-made features that make it extremely difficult for certain individuals to have access to certain areas. Wealthy White people have the power to control who enters their community. Wealthy White people have opposed allowing MARTA go through their neighborhood. By doing so wealthy people can decide who has access to their community. The majority of people who live in wealthy neighborhoods own a private vehicle therefore they do not depend on other methods of getting where they need to go. Most poor people rely on public transportation to get to work, school, etc. By excluding MARTA, wealthy white people can prevent poor people from maintaining a suburban job. Most people of a low economic class rely on MARTA Transit. In 1974 affluent Whites requested a street that connected a White neighborhood and a Black neighborhood to be closed off. The United States Supreme Court did not challenge this action. This raised the level of speculation for the Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall. Thurgood Marshall believed that the 1974 decision sent a clear message that Whites did not want poor or people of color in their neighborhood and the academy backed them up. Most individuals fail to realize how urban design or urban architecture, is a form of regulation. Most people are not aware of the types of architectural exclusion because they believe things are not made with an alternate motive in mind. Majority of people are blind to how the law and the lawmakers treat exclusionary acts and how poor people and people of color are detached from society. People tend to believe that the structures of cities are made for general public interest but in fact the structure of cities preserves the United States long history of intentional discrimination and exclusion. Few fail to realize the extent in to which segregation still takes place in the form of architecture. One way streets, the absence of sidewalks, locations of highways, and location of transit stops shape the demographic of a city and how those thing isolate one community from the next. Exclusionary amenities are placed to make generally expensive residential developments not appeal to certain demographic groups. Fichies Homeowner Hypothesis suggests that homeowners are more likely than renters to vote to protect property investments. Landscape is the most overlooked instrument of racism. Walled ghettos are an example of physical segregation because they separate people of color from Whites and make it strenuous for the people confined to get where they need to go. One wall doubled the time needed to arrive at a grocery three miles away from their residence. Walls are built to “calm traffic” and is also known as a “traffic diverter”. These traffic diverters are known by its residents as the “Berlin wall for Black People”. This renaming shows how the people feel like their being kept in and isolated from society. Bridge exits and highway exit ramps are located to filter traffic away from wealthy communities. Locations of highways destroy low income neighborhoods. One-way streets distract and confuse visitors to discourage unknown visitors from coming to that area. Measures have even gone as far as removing directional signs to intimate wealthy people from visiting or going through poor neighborhoods. Architectural exclusion stem from decisions made in the past but continue to persist today.


SCHINDLER, SARAH. “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination And Segregation Through Physical Design Of The Built Environment.” Yale Law Journal 124.6 (2015): 1934-2024. Academic Search Complete. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.



2 Comments to

“Reading Summary One : Sarah Schindler”

  1. January 24th, 2016 at 5:33 pm      Reply dnorwood6 Says:

    I feel the summary is organized very well. The information seems factual and concise. If I were reading about this subject for the first time.. There is not information about the article or where to find it. The title, author, date and some citation of reference.

    • January 24th, 2016 at 5:46 pm      Reply Quintia McClain Says:

      I apologize for leaving out the citation. I added it immediately. Thank you for the positive review.

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