In David Flemming’s book City of Rhetoric, he examines the nature and history of exclusion based on race within the built environments of cities. In Chapter twelve he turns to examine the suburb and its unique place within, but excluded from, the city. Using his favorite example of Chicago Flemming analyses the outer suburbs by socioeconomic class in order to determine which fits the bill for his example of the conundrum that is the suburb. Flemming cites a score of scholars to create a complex and sometime conflicting definition of a modern suburb, but the traits of single family homes, on larger plots of land, with a surrounding structured community, and the necessity of a car is constant throughout. Once defining this Flemming settles on the Chicagoan suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois, not overly wealthy but still a difficult place to move up to, and planned in it’s creation. He pairs his examination of the suburb with an examination of the Gautreaux Program, a program that chooses four thousand, fiscally responsible single mothers living in areas over poverty and gives them vouchers for housing, displacing them to different places in the city and surrounding suburbia. The families were split into three groups: staying in the city in a higher wealth area, leaving to the suburbs, and staying in a poorer urban area. The results were split, while people moved to the suburb had better mental health in some cases they had a much harder time commuting to work, whereas the children staying in the city had a higher likelihood to experience violence but found the environment to be more welcoming.
Fleming, David. “Chapter 12.” City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. Albany: SUNY, 2008. N. pag. Print.
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