Solutions to Architectural Exclusion

Exclusion by the first amendment: Freedom of speech

In the context of exclusionary techniques used by cities and towns, it may be beneficial for them to rethink their exclusionary infrastructure in order for a economical gain. In her “Architectural Exclusion”, Sarah Schindler describes ways to alleviate the harms of existing architectural exclusion and ways to prevent it in the future. Beginning with an incentive for city legislators and local governments, Schindler proposes a change in the design of a city in order to provide more jobs and promote the travel to a city or town. She continues with possible solutions which she then evaluates in the present reality to show how probable they actual are. Excluding judicial solutions due to ambiguity of legislation, Schindler then turns to the root of legislation: Federal, State, and local elected officials. Moreover, she turns to administrators who conduct a detailed environmental review to expand their review in order to consider the project’s impacts on the exclusion of certain underrepresented groups. In addition, Schindler pressures legislatures to construct an act similar to the Disabilities Act in which individuals with disabilities are accommodated in order to experience normal civic life.

Although few,  legislators have indeed taken into account the effect of architectural exclusion and prohibited its existence. On February 11, 1994, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12898: “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations.” The order basically called attention to low-income environments and urged federal agents to attend to their effect on the minority community. It required federal agencies to adopt strategies which address environmental justice concerns within the context of the respective agency operations. Although non-binding and moderately effective,  the order showed the issue which Schindler presents was acted on by a president; consequently showing that the issue of architectural exclusion is not invisible.

Works Citied:

Arthur Totten, Bill Dickerson. NEPA Executive Order 12898. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-08/documents/ej_guidance_nepa_epa0498.pdf. Accessed 1 May 2017.

 

Schindler, Sarah. Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment. http://www.yalelawjournal.org/article/architectural-exclusion. Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.

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