New Urbanism

By Kwesi Billups

In Chapter 6 of his City of Rhetoric, David Fleming makes use of theories of demographic distribution, class struggle, and participation in sociopolitical discourse to position the rhetoric of exclusion and separation within the context of clashing Chicagoan urban spheres. In Chapter 6, Fleming’s argument of the importance of diversity in developing equitable, comprehensive, and, most importantly, dynamic social structures is presented through the lens of a fairly successful redevelopment project that he believes will ultimately result in the same historical evasion of conversations on race in metropolitan designs.

Similar to Sarah Schindler’s presentation of  architectural exclusion as the structuring of one’s “built environment” with the goal of “constraining” the behavior of a targeted sociopolitical demographic, Fleming explores the urban area as an environment within which forces- governmental, service-based, educational, nutritional, health-based, and so much more- work in tandem to perpetuate cycles of disenfranchisement that isolate groups of people from the greatest of environmental factors to even the most reduced scales- physical space and interaction.

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