The Lack of Academia Concerning Segregation Through Architecture

The Lack of Academia Concerning Segregation Through Architecture

            In “Part One” of Sarah Schindler’s Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment she establishes a fundamental understanding of the negative effect which infrastructure has on social inequality and socioeconomic segregation. Additionally, Schindler explains that the current understanding surrounding infrastructure’s effect on segregation is very elementary. Professor Schindler makes repeated reference to external texts which brush upon the topic of architectural exclusion, but fail to thoroughly examine the topic as she feels necessary. For Professor Schindler, the built environment is a fundamental aspect of minority/ lower-class suppression- a suppression which has existed for decades. Schindler is not the first scholar to address the idea of architecture’s effect on segregation, and she acknowledges this fact herself. However, she is one of the first to pursue it in such detail. One element discouraging in-depth analysis of this subject is the very definition of “regulation” in respect to architecture, since “the built environment does not fit within the definition of ‘regulation’ as legal scholars traditionally employ the term”. Yet many do acknowledge that a city’s infrastructure does have an effect upon social inequality, exclusion, and isolation, but not in as great of detail as the topic truly deserves. In “Part 1, Section B” Schindler continues to explain that “while these authors offer compelling explorations of spatial organization’s ability to exclude and culturally marginalize, their critiques have not yet penetrated the mainstream of land-use or civil-rights law”. Regulation by architecture is more difficult to identify and quantify than outright-legal bylaws, which helps contribute to the lack of in-depth analysis surrounding the topic. Although Schindler does mention various small examples of architectural exclusion in “Part One” of her study, the main focus is more to establish the groundwork for the upcoming material, and the lack of preexisting analysis.

Works Cited

Snapshot. http://www.yalelawjournal.org/article/architectural-exclusion. Accessed 25 Feb. 2017.

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