The final chapter in David Fleming’s City of Rhetoric, is entitled “The Afterword”. In this chapter, Fleming puts together his last few thoughts by explaining that although public and low-income housing has lost importance in the public sphere as of late, he still believes it to be a major topic of concern. Throughout Fleming’s book, he discusses many ways in which we have inaccurately come up with solutions to the problems which come along with common areas and low-income housing, such as decentralization, fragmentation, sand polarization. However, he doesn’t want the reader to leave with a sense of defeat. Fleming believes that although the separation of the classes in America may contribute to the lack of discussion around cohabitation of space, the youth of today keep him hopeful. That being said, issues such as urban poverty, suburban sprawl, residential racial segregation, and geographically based income inequality need to again be brought to the forefront of public conversation. Fleming also wants to reiterate in this chapter, that he does not want these public conversations to be centered around only America, but rather around the whole world. He believes that its very important to consider America’s relationship with the rest of the world. Social and economic inequality is an issue which people face all over the world, and the “solutions” which are being suggested remain “individualistic and private” (212). In other words, the solutions are often said to lie in the involvement of private enterprises and companies rather than the public as a whole, or even the government. Yet, as seen in places such as the North Town Village in Chicago, these projects rarely change anything, “metropolitan inequality in Chicago, and elsewhere in the United States, persists and even grows” (213). David Fleming’s hope with this book is to start a dialog around these issues, which will hopefully raise awareness as well as generate ideas to begin to solve these issues.
Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. Albany, NY, SUNY Press, 2009.