Analysis of: Schindler’s “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment”

In Schindler’s “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment,” she explains how “the built environment is characterized by man-made physical features that make it difficult for often poor people and people of color to have access to certain places” (1934). Within a built environment, there is a certain structure created that the community people have to follow based off of what is provided to them. For example, “the absence of sidewalks and crosswalks” contributed to isolating poor people and people of color because of the circumstances that they were currently facing (1934). For poor people and people of color, it was a known opinion of both of these parties that they did not commonly drive and would walk and take buses mostly. Another instance where this occurred was in Long Island with Robert Moses. He designed many of the areas in Long Island and he “directed overpasses to be built intentionally low so that buses could not pass under” which prohibited many poor people and people of color from being able to gain access to specific parts of Long Island like the beach (1937). This mostly affected people of color and poor people because they were the people “who most relied on public transportation” (1937). This decision to have overpasses be purposely low prohibited many people from having the same opportunity as others and made the built environment of Long Island bias to the people living there. Another area negatively affected by built environment is Atlanta, Georgia. The public transportation system is the “Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transit Authority (MARTA)” and it did not give accessibility to certain areas based on built environment (1937). Certain areas did not want MARTA to be able to reach them because the areas were owned by “wealthy, mostly white residents” and they did not want to “give people of color easy access to suburban communities” (1938). By not giving people of color access to these more wealthy areas, they were subjected to being confined in more poorer areas instead. Also with no ability to reach Northern Atlanta, people of color were not able to hold higher paying jobs there causing them to have less opportunities. Since people of color and poor people were purposely cut out of these specific more affluent areas, they were given no choice but to stay where they were used to if they used public transportation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *