Tag Archives: RA2

Analysis of Schindler’s Architectural Exclusion Theory Pt. II

In Part II of  “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Designs of the Built Environment,” Sarah Schindler outlines the various ways states and communities actively practice architectural exclusion which further perpetuate racism and classism. The methods of architectural exclusion are addressed were physical barriers, transit laws, placement of highways and one way streets, An example of a physical barrier that was used to keep a race of people out of certain area was the Long Island bridge that purposefully was constructed to hang low so that the tall public transportation buses couldn’t under them. The public transportation buses were typically used by the african american people and low income people in that area. Robert Moses, the architect responsible for the bridge actively made sure the bridge’s over pass wasn’t tall enough for buses to get through, the same way he made sure not to extend the railroad’s because all these pathways lead to Jones Beach an area he wanted to keep for only white upper middle class people and keep black people out of entirely. Moses as an architect willingly made it purposefully difficult for a specific race and class of people to physically enter a certain community.

Communities also engage in Architectural exclusion through the infrastructure of public transportation design and spaces. Many cities such as Washington DC, Atlanta, and San Francisco have middle class white residents voting to keep public transportation stops out of  their communities because of the fact that the majority of people that take public transportation in these cities are African American and/or low income. These communities are purposely voting again certain transit amendments to exclude people from their community based upon race and class.  

The placement of highways and one way streets also are part of architectural exclusion practices, these structures are placed in ways that separate one group of people from another and both of these structures make it more difficult to enter a community. Highways are placed in between affluent communities or towns and the urban areas that are majority low income making it inconvenient and difficult for those to the low income communities to travel and get across to the suburban affluent communities because of multi-lane highway danger. One way streets act in a similar way, where it is very difficult to get in and out of a neighbor due to a long winding road that is also a one way street. This inconvenient and confusing route of entry into neighbors deters people from entering that are not from those neighborhoods. The people that typically live in these neighborhoods are non-people of color that are in the middle class or upper class.

The supporting, defending, and constructing of these architecturally exclusive structures are problematic and detrimental in a number of ways. One way streets, physical structures, highways and transit infrastructure continue to isolate and marginalize people of color and people that are poor and low income. Racially prejudice and discriminatory acts are now just being disguised through these practices rather than being confronted, dealt with, and addressed justly.