Reading Analysis 3 – Fleming and the Separation of Suburbs

In David Fleming’s book City of Rhetoric, Fleming talks about how the suburbs are designed in ways to stay apolitical. They are designed differently than a typical neighborhood or city. This “design” Fleming talks about is the simple fact that they are more privatized than that of a city landscape. Due to this fact, people who live in these suburbs are able to stay out of any political doings.

In Fleming’s work he describes this topic by talking about a suburb in Chicago called Schaumburg. He states that Schaumburg is considered “apolitical” because it is so separated from the politics of Chicago. Places like cities are considered so political, because anyone who lives in a city environment are surrounded by public land and buildings that can be used by everyone. These public spaces help encourage politics, because those who take advantage of these services want to elect politicians who will support them as well. That being said suburban towns have privately owned programs and Institutions (Fleming 106).

Fleming talks about how at one point, inhabitants of the city of Chicago wanted to escape this political cloud and developed this privatized suburb we now know as Schaumburg. The entire reason the suburb was created as so people do not have to associate themselves with politics whatsoever. On top of that, Schaumburg’s schools were nicer than those in the city as they had been built more recently. People saw this new, calmer style of living much more appealing. Fleming ends this section telling us in order to live in a better society we must be able to see this segregation of suburbs as a problem worth taking care of.

Work Cited

Fleming, David. City of rhetoric: revitalizing the public sphere in metropolitan America. Albany, NY, SUNY Press, 2009.

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