In City of Rhetoric, David Fleming beliefs that how communities are set up influences how people write, speak, and act changes. He uses the city of Chicago to examine and proof this mostly by studying the demographics and design of the neighborhoods. Fleming attempts to dissect the relationship between the average individual and the large nation-state. By emphasizing the differing roles that individuals fulfill within the two different types of communities, Fleming sets up a contrast for readers, exemplifying the impacts a surrounding can have on its citizens. In closing, Fleming’s evaluation of the way a smaller republic functions, compared to a large nation-state, point to the clear benefits attributed to a smaller democracy, emphasizing how that type of environment would enable a more active participation by the individuals that call it home.
Chapter 6 of the books “The New Urbanism” first talks the North Town Village and how it reminds the public that suburban relocation is not a viable solution for the problem of urban poverty to achieve the facilitation of social interaction and to avoid class systems. It first introduces the idea of an economically diverse urban village by explaining how the public housing projects became uninhabitable and their deterioration can be traced right to federal housing programs. Also, the government thought that the apparent alternative to remedy was to deconcentrate the poverty in existing projects by bringing in higher-income residents. Fleming, mentions that the renewal on the Near North Side Re-establishes the characteristics of the Cabrini Green public housing that make it a troubled place and then lists development plans that aimed to redevelop it. The North Town Village was built with a long-term goal of lasting beauty, survival, and practicality (Fleming, 132). The main intention of the development of this mixed income community was to take advantage of the prime location and proximity to transportation in order to “revitalize the Cabrini Green neighborhood” and to encourage interaction between families of various incomes (Fleming, 145). There are many rhetorical aspects of North Town Village, mainly because of the numerous purposefully designed parts of the architecture, but in page 144 Fleming mentions how some reports suggest that there haven’t been any social changes, people may suffer if their wasn’t so much of a social mix, effects between black and white people are too strong, meaning that white people benefit more than blacks.
Though, most of the staged measures were in the form of gatherings, there were a couple architectural ones as well. In addition, to the obvious intention of the proximity of living spaces, the designer also included many common, open spaces with the goal of guiding the people that live there to conserve, observe, and learn about each other. These open paths, decks, and common lawns were all designed to promote a sense of safety, community, and unity. In terms of the staged attempts at bringing the community together, there is still the large problem that the rich and poor are inherently different. In some ways, these efforts may have even further drawn attention to the differences between them and increased the distance between these families with various incomes. The exterior of these houses and the location to supermarkets and other stores are still aimed towards those who are more well-off in the community. It can be argued that the poor are even more alienated in North Town Village, their circumstances made even more obvious by their richer neighbors and the “stories” they may tell. Though the intentions of the designer were well-intended, it seems that the real effects of the architecture of this community may not have lived up to its ambitious intentions.