February 7, 2017 - mh9868a
Preface: The Connection Between Pubic Discourse and City Planning
The book City of Rhetoric by David Fleming argues that public discourse and city planning are directly connected. Fleming claims that the placement of buildings has “social meaning” (Fleming xi). For example, during the urbanization period of the United States, cities’ placement of government housing demonstrated the attitudes of the people living in such housing. Immigrants and the very poor working class lived in the unkept and decrepit tenement houses because it was all they could afford. The city planners put these tenement houses in less valued areas of cities to separate the poor and the rich (Fleming xii). This built environment matters because it is systematically putting the poor and the immigrants at a disadvantage. Fleming goes on to argue that city planning and social commentary are still implemented today. Unfortunately, this is happening in big cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. Today the construct of the cities indicates that people of different races and genders cannot come together because of their systematic separation. According to Fleming, changing the current commentary on the separation of the rich and the poor would be a massive societal change (Fleming xiv).
Fleming, David. “Preface.” City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America, SUNY Press, Albany, NY, 2009, pp. xi-xiv.
Grabinsky, Jonathan, and Stuart M Butler. “Segregation and Concentrated Poverty in the Nation’s Capital.” Brookings, Brookings, 28 July 2016, www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2015/03/24/segregation-and-concentrated-poverty-in-the-nations-capital/.