“Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment”

In the text “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment”, by Sarah Schindler, many topics which pertain to structured separation of cultures, and groups of people may be put into place be it intentional or unintentional motives. Some of the many structures being put in place to separate ranged from highways to legislation and zoning practices. The reason these institutions are problematic for society is because it keeps the underprivileged from attaining the chance to move up and better themselves. At many times these divides are not seen to be disturbances in the community by legislators and lawmakers or they are just overlooked. Schindler makes note of how these divides are usually racially motivated. Many times it is explained that the structures tend to attempt to keep lower classes out or away from the area which usually reflects a certain race of people. This can be exampled in Atlanta with Cobb County’s creation of Cobb County Transit. Anytime talks of MARTA being expanded to reach Cobb, they are received with much disdain from citizens of Cobb and local political leaders. CCT extensively limits the amount of travel that is possible within its borders when compared to easy access to most of the city in Atlanta through the use of MARTA. Often times advocates of MARTA’s expansion say that the ban is just to prevent people of lower incomes from entering. This is backed by the fact that the lack of sidewalks in Cobb makes it virtually impossible for anyone to work without owning a car. This also creates a separation of people in other areas of the state from accessing job opportunities in the secluded county. One portion of the article states that

“public transportation continues to be routed in a way that makes it difficult for some blacks to get to and from leisure venues that more affluent or more mobile persons freely enjoy”

This can be exampled with the construction of the new braves stadium in Cobb County. The city of Atlanta and MARTA have announced no plans to extend the rail lines to the new stadium as Turner field was easily accessible through it. While this might change the people who attend the sporting events it also will affect the demographics of the potential employees and their location. Previous Turner Field employees who depended on MARTA for transportation to their job will now have to seek alternative jobs. In the area law makers and new developers in the area may team up and use zoning ordinances to change the local area of Turner field and gentrification will occur.

The lack of MARTA in Cobb County is also mirrored in north atlanta. MARTA only runs to Lenox Mall in north atlanta because the citizens in the area expressed that expanding it to their areas would increase the amount of crime in their suburban areas. They also feared for citizens in other areas of the city having accessibility to their employment opportunities.

All of these barriers and institutions including zoning, expansion of public transportation and creation of highways are ways that citizens and legislators alike may prevent certain people from accessing an area and potentially moving up in society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.