April 23, 2017 - mh9868a
RA 5: Cities of Rhetoric
In the final chapter of his book City of Rhetoric, David Fleming argues that it is important for young people to learn civic politics in order to understand what city design teaches its residents. More specifically, Fleming believes it is important to understand the places around us and what they teach us. This is important because he believes that cities, “can teach us that we hold the world in common.” In other words, Fleming claims that space and location have an effect on the well being of the people around it. Moreover, these effects can deeply influence a person’s life. That is, location is connected to wealth which influences a person’s overall well being. Therefore, Fleming claims that residents of a public sphere like cities need to learn that designing a city is “about designing for human beings in general.” Actually, Fleming is saying that cities should be designed for the benefit of all its citizens as opposed to just the wealthier ones. Therefore, he believes that of young people learn this, then they can go on to design rhetorically effective cities.
Along with learning that cities should be built for every citizen, Fleming argues that young people should learn some reforms to improve the existing civic sphere. Firstly, he says that the American people should prefer stability over mobility in order to better support their city. Moreover, Fleming believes that of residents stayed in their environments for longer periods of time, then they would be more invested in the public life in that area. Thus, the politics in the area would improve because more people are invested in it. Secondly, Fleming believes that members of a community need to become more involved in their communities in order to improve them. In other words, people need to become more involved in their local politics so that they can politically support their environment and the other people in their communities. Lastly, Fleming believes that in order to have a functioning public sphere everyone needs to be able to adequately handle conflict. That way, any issues that arrive can be solved for the overall good of the public.
Overall, David Fleming argues that it is important for young people to learn civic politics in order to understand what city design teaches its residents. That is, he believes that there are certain ways the public sphere can be improved, and that with education, young people can be the ones to improve the public sphere.