The controversial highway outside the Walden Galleria Mall in Buffalo, NY, where a 17-year old from the inner city was killed while leaving a transit bus stop in order to get to her job at work.

Reading Analysis #1: Sarah Schindler’s “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment”

In her “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment,” Sarah Schindler argues that many states and municipalities utilize exclusionary architecture and infrastructure in order to deliberately keep certain communities, minorities and citizens from entering within their borders. These borders can be physical and have demarcation, but they can also be racial or ideological in nature. In Part Two of Schindler’s article, the author elucidates the different practices of exclusionary architecture. The methodology used to exclude individuals in different communities is relatively jarring to read about, as many of these practices are things one sees everyday. Schindler argues that physical barriers are a physically literal form of this exclusion, building often simple solutions to keeping out certain populations with brick and concrete. In places like Long Island and Palo Alto, these physical barricades do not appear as such. Infrastructural assets, like the Robert Moses bridge in Long Island, often do exclude when they appear to connect. Specifically, Schindler states: “We tend to view bridges as innocuous features rather than as exclusionary objects… instead, our environment contains low bridges that might make travel difficult”. This argument is compelling and makes one truly consider the impact that the infrastructure of one’s hometown could have. Thinking of the roads and highways that intentionally cut through conflicting neighborhoods in places like Buffalo and cause continuous pedestrian-vehicle collisions, the infrastructure of the United States as a whole seems rather racially-biased and damning towards certain communities. Schindler’s conclusions about highways destroying and dividing urban neighborhoods, or public transit stops not reaching out towards suburban areas are difficult to refute. These blatant exclusions towards groups of citizens and communities are everywhere, and Schindler uses examples from every coast of the country to argue this point.

The controversial highway outside the Walden Galleria Mall in Buffalo, NY, where a 17-year old from the inner city was killed while leaving a transit bus stop in order to get to her job at work.
The controversial highway outside the Walden Galleria Mall in Buffalo, NY, where a 17-year old from the inner city was killed while leaving a transit bus stop in order to get to her job at work.

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