In the last chapter of David Fleming’s City of Rhetoric, Fleming brings up the term built environment, and how it is something that is ever present in society. He argues how there is an interaction between humans and the environment around them, and that this interaction constantly changes the world around us. He explains that further by arguing that what differentiates us from other species is the fact that we live in cities as a community. We, unlike other living things, built the environment around us in order to make it more suitable for us, while we learn and interact with what we currently have. Essentially, the purpose of cities is to aid humans to flourish. That can be achieved through safer neighborhoods, better housing, etc.
Fleming also discusses the importance of another term that is commonly used. He argues that society today lacks public spheres, as there isn’t one ideal or set of principles that brings us all together. Fleming believes that the ideal public sphere is one where the members are diverse but are unified by the same beliefs. According to him, it is in our best interest to come together in these spheres.
The big concept behind this chapter is that nothing happens in a vacuum. There is a constant interaction between cities and its citizens, and these interactions constantly reshape what our environments look like. Along with that, public spheres have a huge influence when analyzing the rhetoric of a city. Together, these two concepts aid us in understanding the deeper meaning of City of Rhetoric, which is ultimately Fleming’s goal.
Fleming, David. City of rhetoric: revitalizing the public sphere in metropolitan America. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2009. Print.