Reading Analysis 6 – Scholl & Gulwadi Recognizing Campus Landscapes

 

 

In their “Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces” authors, Kathleen G Scholl and Gulwadi Betrabet argue that the actual/physical is an important component of the education of the students that attend the university. Scholl and Gulwadi further explain that the overall health of the spaces on campus is an important part of learning.

Scholl and Gulwadi understand that a mixture of indoor and outdoor spaces should be used as a “catalyst” that will “promote a sense of belonging to the learning community.” By presenting such argument, Scholl and Gulwadi bring up the idea that the environment and overall culture a college campus will impact greatly the learning outcomes and overall student experience.  Though that idea is known, not many have explored the influence of open spaces on learning. Scholl and Gulwadi continue their argument by stating that both indoor and outdoor spaces presence is even more important with the rise of such things like climate, ecology, global warming and “green infrastructure.”

Using the works of such authors as Hartig and Kaplan, Scholl and Gulwadi declare that “interaction with nature, in particular, can help to maintain or restore cognitive function such as direct attention, problem solving, focus and concentration, impulse inhibition, and memory, which can become depleted from fatigue or with overuse.” To help visualize their argument, Scholl and Gulwadi presenting the different categories of university campuses that are currently available and the types of forms they either offer or not

Table 1. Student-nature interactions in campus landscapes.

Scholl and Gulwadi’s main point seems to argue the fact that there needs to be a change in perspective on how college campuses are viewed and the true importance of it. In other words, there should not be in anyway limits to the access to the spaces on a college campus. For them, “the entire campus landscape as a learning space and advertising its educational value – that is emphasizes something deeper than what meets the eye.” There should be more research and exploration to such an idea that the campus as a whole is a learning space that is responsible for the performance of the academic experience of the students.

Works Cited

SCHOLL, Kathleen G; GULWADI, Gowri Betrabet. Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces. Journal of Learning Spaces, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, july 2015. ISSN 21586195. Available at: <http://libjournal.uncg.edu/jls/article/view/972/777>. Date accessed: 08 may 2017.

 

Hartig, T., Mitchell, R., de Vries, S., & Frumkin, H. (2014). Nature and Health. Annual Review of Public Health, 7(44) doi: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032013-182443.

 

 

 

 

Reading Analysis 5 – David Fleming Afterword

Picture of Cabrini Gardens, area Fleming discusses a lot in City of Rhetoric

In his last section of City of Rhetoric “Afterword” David Fleming continues his discussion on affordable housing and urban renewal explaining how the efforts that were once being made have been slowing down. He explains how our society seems to be “increasingly unable” (211) to properly talk about such conversations when it comes to “cohabitation” and the importance of presenting that as an “important topic of public talk” (211). Fleming calls out the fact that post 9/11 the last on the list of the government is renewal methods in “public space” in cities such as Chicago. When it comes to minimizing the separation between the groups that are usually divided by race and socioeconomic class it is not being done as frequent as it should be. Fleming’s main point is to advise his audience that separating our society through race, gender and socioeconomic class is dangerous. What is better to do is to inform the youth of our society to do better than we have been doing.

Cover of David Fleming’s Book. Innovative way to talk about gentrification, social spatial places and the role of the youth

Using the argument of the 9/11 attack Fleming brings up the fact that both American and politicians felt no need to do such things as spend money or help the group of individuals who were being discriminated against. He states that people are “afraid of our diversity” (213) which is the reason why their interest have declines for urban renewal and fighting against discrimination and racism. To say blatantly there is this “fear of mixing” with the disadvantaged society. Though Fleming brings up all these facts, during the final pages of his Afterword he states that unbiased/proper urban renewal is something that can occur but it is currently just a hope. Fleming seems to be hopeful for the future stating, “…be always mindful of the power of intervention, creation, and change in human life, the opportunity always before us for a better tomorrow”(214). He concludes his work of City of Rhetoric on a mindful and encouraging note, stating that it is important to be optimistic and proactive in the line of change in order to make the change we want to see. Fleming brings up the fact that “young people” need to experience what it means to be a “strong member of the public” and once they become such members demand the change.   

Works Cited

Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. Albany: SUNY Press, 2008.

Reading Analysis 4 – David Fleming “Toward a New Sociospatial Dialectic”

 

David Fleming City of Rhetoric: Toward a New SocioSpatial Dialectic  

In his Toward a New Socio Spatial Dialectic chapter of his book City of Rhetoric, David Fleming explains the importance of having such a book as City of Rhetoric. Fleming introduces all these aspects of built in environments such as the “African American ghetto,” “affluent white suburbs” and “mixed-income urban village” (179) to speak of the importance of public discourse. As part of public discourse of Fleming he mentions the important questions that need to be asked and answered through a civil conversation such as, “What are the effects of these differents kinds of social space on the ways we render and resolve conflict, on our attitudes toward public argument and our habits of political language?” (180)

Throughout this chapter rings importance for public discourse such as socio-spatial, language, politics, education and collective equality on page 180 all to ask the important question of finding alternatives of how things are being executed to secure the happiness of parties involved. What Fleming seems to be calling out is the need to break the pattern of the dominant using their voice and not letting the voice of the rest of their community be heard. The pattern of ostracizing certain group to one part of the community that then has the stigma of “unappealing” need to be changed. What Fleming attempts to suggest is not to “rehash old academic complaints” (181) but rather looking into how accepting an area is to diverse people and how willing the dominant group is able to give the minority group a voice. Fleming uses the word “disattach” (185)  where he explains that it is true that an individual or group of people with more resources can easily remove themselves from issues that might seem hard but at the end of the day does not concern them. However, Fleming argues that such an action can affect the “rhetorical habit” (188) of an individual where they are not able to understand the opposing side’s point of view. Hence, there needs to be the “alternative” that Fleming brings to light, where the happiness, education and overall welfare of the minority group is taken into consideration.

Works Cited

Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. Albany: SUNY Press, 2008.

 

Reading Analysis 3 – David Fleming “Ghetto”

 

David Fleming City of Rhetoric: Ghetto

In his Ghetto: Chicago 1995 chapter of his book City of Rhetoric, David Fleming uses what he calls the “egregious example” of Chicago (65) to explain a recurring problem in cities across North America of Ghettos and their true political and social meaning in this country. Throughout this chapter, Fleming goes into detail concerning the tactful planning by whites to keep the separation between them and blacks in both public and private means such as schools, jobs, neighborhood government services and housing. Fleming confirms the “socioeconomic subjugations of African Americans” (65) have been going through which though it has improved over time it has not disappeared by any means. Fleming explains the “the spatial manifestation of that subjugation” (65) is the Ghetto which is still a prevalent word with such powerful meaning today.

Fleming uses the 1968 Kerner Commission definition of Ghetto as seen on page 65 writing that a ghetto is an area “characterized” by poverty and a specific racial and ethnic groups. In the definition, there are other negative words such as “disorganized” and an “involuntary segregation” meaning that these specific ethnic and racial groups are not put in a certain area of the city by choice or willingness. Instead, their families standing back from generations before were forced and isolated into a certain area that was then deemed by the public as unappealing, unwanted. When there is such a stigma on a space and the occupants of that space, there is no great importance or value and as a result, enthusiasm or real eagerness to improve such place.

For Fleming, using the specific example of Chicago is due to what he states as a “recurrent juxtaposition of oppression with opportunity, confinement with freedom, disaster with hope” (65). Meaning, for the oppressed group their space, their “home” was once a symbol of freedom, somewhere the severe oppression that they were once going through, hence the “great migration” to Chicago in the 1800s. However, for their oppressors, there seems to be a conflict of what Fleming explains as the stereotypical “racial residential segregation” but with that, there is this contradiction of “urban renewal” (66). What is meant by “urban renewals” was the whites of Chicago “formulating” (77) plans of their own to “deal” with the black ghetto. There was no idea or approach of compromise, rather using intimidation to keep them out of their desired spaces. Hence, when the groups are not wanted one place, they are moved and put into another without having a say of exactly where to be put. Such tactful planning is part of the reason why such things as public housing are put into place, public housing is the ghetto’s home. Ethnic minority groups are dealt with and put into ghettos that metaphorically and literally show their circumstances.

Works Cited

Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. Albany: SUNY Press, 2008.

 

Reading Analysis 2 – Sarah Schindler “Architecture as a Regulation”

In her, Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design Of the Built Environment, “Architecture as a Regulation” section Schindler argues the concept of individuals consciously isolating certain groups of people from a location through laws and regulations throughout history, so much so that it has become a social norm. Individuals have ostracized certain groups in some cases using means of violence among other things to mark and claim their territory as their own.  Schindler informs the reader the idea and reason behind the strategic separations of cities and towns and how as she states, “…cities were constructed in ways — including by erecting physical barriers— that made it very difficult for people from one side of town to access the other side” (1942).

The title of the section “Architecture as a Regulation” introduces to the reader the idea as Schindler proposes of our physical environment being used as a third method of discrimination. It is the perfect example of certain parts of a town having a certain reputation due to the discriminatory mindsets toward them. Schindler states, “By structuring our relationships, these features of the built environment control and constrain our behavior” (1943). The idea of “systematic social inequality” is introduced, Schindler with the validation of social scientists claims that physical architecture is used as a constraint to keep certain people that are not desirable for a certain part town away with no real reason. And over time, these landscape restrictions are just engraved in groups of people that continue on such divisions, with no true reasoning or evidence. Another concept that Schindler introduces is the idea of “choice architecture.” The individuals that control and built such physical barriers and divisions are also the ones that have the influence concerning who will inhabit such locations. There is no such thing as Schindler and her colleagues explain it as “neutral design.” An intriguing remark that Schindler states that summarizes the idea of “Architecture Regulation” is “These architectural  decisions create  architectural constraints: features of the built environment that function to control human behavior or hinder access—the embodiment of architectural exclusion” (1948).

From Schindler’s perspective, there is a common thread and sort of domino effect when it comes to geographical, political and social influence on discrimination and segregation between individuals and groups of people. In the United States specifically, Schindler states that ‘segregation, integration, and separation are spatial processes’ and so is exclusion and confinement. There is always a way to exclude and ostracize individuals and the fact that in the 21st century that is still a process being done — is no surprise.

Works Cited

Sarah Schindler. “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment.” The Yale Law Review, 2015, 1937–2023.

Reading Analysis 1 – David Fleming “The Persistence of Space”

In his City of Rhetoric, “The Persistence of Space” section, David Fleming argues on the importance and influence of the physical spaces that surround us. When speaking of physical spaces Fleming introduces the idea of the towns, countries, and areas we as citizens live in. The concept of the different sections of those towns, and how the community living in and surrounding that area view that particular space. And through such perceptions the influence that our personal experience and the experience of others have on us when identifying a space for what it is. Fleming himself states in the beginning of the section that, “…we routinely make discriminations among them: we know which are better and which are worse, which are ours and which are someone else’s” (32).

The title of this section “The Persistence of Space” acknowledges the fact of the continuity of a space. The idea that space is permanently there but what truly changes is the stories connected to that area and the individuals that either decide or are forced to live there given personal circumstances. Fleming influences the reader to think about how easily were tier and rate these spaces for what they are. Through such ratings, we decide which spaces should get our attention and the ones we should stay away from and warn others about. This idea as Fleming argues is presented as  “spatial manifestations” and “place-based thinking.” In postmodern United States landscapes,  we see a major contrast of very poor and very rich neighborhoods coexistence in the same area. Fleming states, “It is a landscape in which residential areas are separate from commercial ones, single-family ones, multi-family housing, rental from for-sale properties, and people of one social group from those of all others” (33). The area that one chooses to live in is subconsciously where everyone else with the same mindset and lifestyle as well. Every area has a specific type of citizen living in it,  and areas such Washington D.C, Brooklyn New York are prime examples of that.

Fleming notes a great point that on a national and global scale, companies among other businesses capitalize on such area distinctions/characterizations. Businesses whether it be an apartment complex, small own business among others use such distinctions to thrive. Fleming states,

From a national, rather global point of view, meanwhile, we can see that some locations in the United States are capitalizing on the economic transformations of our time — places like Boulder, Raleigh-Durham, Austin , and Washington, DC, variously”creative centers,” “ideopolises” or “latte towns” — while others are stagnant or declining” (32).  

It’s spatial manifestations, in order to succeed individuals as well as groups migrate to the areas that will able them to do so. There is no real thought of the consequences that might follow or result in such migrations. As a result, two different things may occur in a certain space, it will it slowly but surely turn into an affluent isolated area and lose the history of what it once was, or continue to be poor and the citizens in such areas will have to suffer from the fact that they are being forced out of their homes because they cannot afford it. The persistence of the space does not necessarily mean it will stay one way, more so, the presence of the space will be there and the stories concerning such area will change.

Works Cited

Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. Albany: SUNY Press, 2008.