Architectural Exclusion Summary

In the “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment”, Sarah Schindler discusses the controversy between architectural structures and racism. She argues that structures such as bridges, fences, walls, etc. are made to separate poor/colored people from rich/white people. The architects of these designs argue that these structures are put there to divert traffic and minimize crime. However, Schindler argues that these are simply excuses they are giving in order to make their new residencies more attractive and to allow the property value to climb. The architects do this to maximize profits, but in the process, they are making the lives of poor/colored people much more difficult.

The majority of the time, these inequalities are being overlooked by judges because this barrier could potentially bring more money into the city where this new “privileged” community is able to thrive. Because the people making these decisions will be benefitting from this new community, they refuse to fight for the civil rights of those being negatively affected by these new barricading structures. For example, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) not only supported but initiated the plan to build fences and walls in order to keep crime out of the area. The fence doubled the travel distance to the nearest grocery store for the non-gated community members, and it took approximately two hours for them to reach the store.

A large number of poor people rely on public transportation. These people depend on public transit like buses, subways, and light rails, but bridges were being built lower so that buses could not pass underneath. Because of this, they were restricted from going to the public parks and other public places in order to keep these areas predominantly white. These transportation systems are all regulated by the city. Therefore, the city controls where new tracks are built-or not built. Many times, these systems are not constructed in the most helpful way to its users because the city in intentionally keeping them out of certain areas. Due to this inconvenience, people may try to get to their destination on foot.  However, those that decide it may be easier to do so will find just as much trouble. Because of the lack of sidewalks, this walk to work becomes a dangerous trek. Honking cars that rush by throughout the day cannot swerve out of their lanes to make room for the pedestrian. These tragic accidents could have been prevented by providing a safe way for all citizens to travel.

The inequalities discussed in this article are unjust as Schindler proves. There is much to be improved within this system, but it may not ever be perfect because in the real world, every decision is centered around profit. Schindler makes valid arguments in her article, and does a great job fully educating the reader on this pressing and ongoing issue. This article could quite possibly spark a movement and changes may be made, but, until then, profit will trump equality.

"Rich vs Poor in the Third World". Wacky Archives. Web. Last accessed February 1, 2016.

“Rich vs Poor in the Third World”. Wacky Archives. Web. Last accessed February 1, 2016.

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