In chapter nine of City of Rhetoric, author David Fleming explains the difficulties of building and designing an environment for the ever changing and diverse human population. Decent shelter, along with clean water, clean air, and nutritious food, is one of the “basic human needs” that Fleming describes in this chapter(Fleming, 196). Despite the United States promising to give all American families this basic need of decent shelter, the country as not done an adequate job(197). Many people continue to live in low-income areas that are unsafe and unhealthy(197). Going outside, going to school, or shopping can be a dangerous task for individuals living in these low-income, high- crime areas(197). Public spaces, however, are a part of designing an environment. It is imperative in an environment to have commonplaces where people can come together and feel safe and free to express their ideas. This is difficult though because many people have different “political identities, theories, and practices” that make it hard to ensure a safe and judgement free space for people to go
to(199). When these commonplaces do exist in smaller areas, there is typically not enough conflict to “prompt healthy political and rhetorical interaction” because the opinions of the people are much too similar(200). Medium sized populations are ideal because they allow for people to “have a real voice in a free and open public”. Unfortunately, creating the perfect balance of diverse opinions and beliefs while also catering to everyone’s wants and needs is “an extremely difficult task,” however it is not something we as a population will give up on anytime soon(195).