RA 3: “Suburbia” in Fleming’s “City of Rhetoric”

In Fleming’s “Suburbia” section of “City of Rhetoric,” the author argues that suburban relocation provides jobs, good schools, safety and piece of mind, therefore, it should be an achievable option for residents of Chicago’s public housing projects, yet it isn’t.

Chicago public housing

This point is highlighted by Fleming through his advocacy that the suburbs are private and disintegrated areas that do not equitably distribute resources throughout our society, therefore, public housing and inner cities lack resources. In addition, he asserts that society should be committed to opening up every suburb to individuals from all races, classes, ages, ethnicities, and religions. By doing this, Fleming argues that we will be able to increase the amount of housing vouchers to help specific families leave distressed neighborhoods and enhance society as a whole. Fleming also cautions that society should be wary of pursuing suburban relocation too aggressively. He argues this in two ways. Firstly, Fleming advocates that in order for suburban relocation to be effective towards ending urban poverty and unemployment, society needs to bring a large part of the city to the suburbs. By doing this, an effort also needs to be made towards making sure that the suburbs do not sprout suburbs of their own, as this is a natural tendency when too much of the city is relocated to the suburbs. The second point Fleming cautions is that the suburbs are often unfavorable to public life by their centerless and chaotic form. Because the structure of the suburbs abandons the typical rectilinear grid style of metropolitan areas for curvy streets and awkward scales, the author points out that the suburbs often have harmful effects on the public sphere as an entity. Overall, Fleming asserts that the suburbs do not represent a healthy public sphere, and therefore, it is difficult for individuals living within Chicago’s public housing projects to integrate themselves into the suburbs, despite a better infrastructure of living.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *