27 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2016
    1. Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment

      3 MAIN TAKE AWAYS/POINTS OF ARGUMENT FROM THIS ARTICLE: This article criticizes the discriminatory aspects of the built environment. It claims, and proves, that the way that architecture regulates a society by preventing or discouraging access to or from a certain section of cities by design. It also claims that the certain groups of people who are most often architecturally excluded are the poor and peoples of color. Not mentioned much in the article, but that I have made note of through my supplemental reading annotations is the exclusion of the elderly. This perhaps is not a design on purpose but it nonetheless exists and affects this group of people as well. Architectural exclusion includes, but is not limited to, physical barriers, transit and placement of transit stops, highways and exists and road infrastructure, the ease of navigation, parking and parking permits. All of these things together affect the way that people live and interact with one another.

    2. Wealthy, mostly white residents of the northern Atlanta suburbs have vocally opposed efforts to expand MARTA into their neighborhoods for the reason that doing so would give people of color easy access to suburban communities

      By opposing the MARTA expansion, these mostly white residents in Atlanta are not only preventing poor and people of color access, but also the elderly. As seen above, poverty affects all races especially in older years. The residents of northern Atlanta suburbs are preventing access to people who they may not even realize. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/poverty/report/2010/09/27/8426/the-not-so-golden-years/

      Marak, Carol. "'Elder Orphans' Have A Harder Time Aging In Place." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 8 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.

    3. Street grid design, one-way streets, the absence of sidewalks and crosswalks, the location of highways and transit stops, and even residential parking permit requirements can shape the demographics of a city and isolate a neighborhood from those surrounding it, often intentionally

      I highly doubt that when these things were designed that they were created this way to exclude the elderly even if they were made to exclude the poor and peoples of color. However, this is the effect.

      Marak, Carol. "'Elder Orphans' Have A Harder Time Aging In Place." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 8 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.

    4. The architected urban landscape regulates, and the architecture itself is a form of regulation.

      This picture shows how a simple sidewalk can transform an area and bring people together and bring people of all ages, genders, and colors to places they may not otherwise be. For the elderly, walking down a sidewalk may be the only option for their transit.

      Marak, Carol. "'Elder Orphans' Have A Harder Time Aging In Place." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 8 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.

    5. It is hard to understate the central significance of geographical themes—space, place, and mobility—to the social and political history of race relations and antiblack racism in the United States. . . . [S]egregation, integration, and separation are spatial processes; . . . ghettos and exclusionary suburbs are spatial entities; . . . access, exclusion, confinement . . . are spatial experiences.5

      It is much more widely discussed how there are unfair regulations to certain groups based on gender and race, but groups by age are almost never talked about in terms of inclusion or exclusion. Even here it is not discussed, besides implicitly. Elderly are in many cases more poor and are separated from certain places as a result.

      Marak, Carol. "'Elder Orphans' Have A Harder Time Aging In Place." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 8 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.

    6. When a locality is successful in its opposition, people who rely on transit to get around will not have access to those communities.13

      While some of these excluded groups may be able to get along with out access to certain places, the elderly are more in need and are also excluded because of their physical disabilities. They not only may need to get somewhere, but they do not have company. This is part of why Marak created a Facebook group to connect these elder orphans who need a community of peers. They also work on finding solutions to these hard to access places, with the assistance of the Milken Institute.

      Marak, Carol. "'Elder Orphans' Have A Harder Time Aging In Place." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 8 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.

    7. And although the law has addressed the exclusionary impacts of zoning ordinances and restrictive covenants, courts, legislatures, and most legal scholars have paid little attention to the use of less obvious exclusionary urban design tactics. Street grid design, one-way streets, the absence of sidewalks and crosswalks, the location of highways and transit stops, and even residential parking permit requirements can shape the demographics of a city and isolate a neighborhood from those surrounding it, often intentionally. Decisions about infrastructure shape more than just the physical city; those decisions also influence the way that residents and visitors experience the city.17

      The Milken Institute is hoping to influence the way city planning committees create their cities so that the city accommodates the elderly who most often have nobody to help them in everyday life. Even a simple sidewalk can have an effect on elderly happiness, health, and accessibility.

      Marak, Carol. "'Elder Orphans' Have A Harder Time Aging In Place." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 8 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.

    8. This design decision meant that many people of color and poor people, who most often relied on public transportation, lacked access to the lauded public park at Jones Beach.5

      Lowering bridges to prevent buses largely does affect the poor and and people of color, but it also largely affects "elder orphans", who are too old to drive and who have nobody that can help take care of them. These people are largely dependent on public transportation as well. Marak, Carol. "'Elder Orphans' Have A Harder Time Aging In Place." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 8 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.

    9. Architectural Exclusion

      This article is about how elder orphans, people over 65 years of age who have no living friends or family to care for them, are having more and more difficult maintaining and/or obtaining a comfortable living environment as they age. Everyone ages and it is never an easy transition, but it is especially harder for those elder citizens who cannot get along on their own, who account for 29% of older persons are these elder orphans. The article explains that there is such a large number of elder orphans now because they are the baby boomers who have resulted in less children and a greater divorce rate. The writer of this article is an elder orphan who has created a Facebook page for other elder orphans to come together and find community and support and discuss their problems to find solutions. The main issues presented are legal and care issues such as dealing with finances when there is nobody around to help in times of need. Affordable housing is almost nonexistent for these elders who mostly live on social security. Transportation is usually not something that elders are able to handle themselves because their physical abilities are impaired. Even though the Facebook group is extremely helpful in finding some solutions, it is still imperative that service and support at the local level is implicated. One such business that is answering the call of these elder orphans is The Milken Institute. They work with local governments to build awareness of elder orphans. They work to provide for the needs of elders such as: living comfortable, affordable, healthy, happy, and financially secure, with proper living arrangements, access to mobility, and respect. They work to create a space for elders to thrive. There are cities that are providing well for the aging community as far as health care, active lifestyle choices, economy, and environment, but even here there is not enough available transportation, or affordable housing. Simple things could be implemented all around cities for these aging communities to better adapt, such as sidewalks which would provide a way for elders to go places as well as get them up and moving around, decreasing chronic diseases and isolation and loneliness.

      Marak, Carol. "'Elder Orphans' Have A Harder Time Aging In Place." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 8 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.

    10. Courts have similarly upheld residency restrictions that prevent some individuals from using public facilities such as beaches, sports courts, and playgrounds on the grounds that residents’ taxes and fees resulted in construction of those facilities, and so residents should be given use priority.

      The entire idea of a "public good" is that it is a good that is non-excludable. I suppose the courts decision to side with residency restrictions may be in an effort to prevent free-riding, but that does not negate the fact that its underlying motives are racist and unconstitutional in the grand scheme of things.

    11. lacement of Highway Routes, Bridge Exits, and Road Infrastructure

      There is no way this highway system was created with the objective of easy accessibility. As someone who has frequented this highway many times, and still struggles to navigate it, I can attest that the highway system in downtown Atlanta is definitely one that could be considered in this section of the article.

    12. Wiggins took the bus from the inner city, where she lived, to her job at the suburban mall.142 However, the mall’s owners had actively resisted requests to allow the bus to stop on its property; rather, the bus stopped outside the mall on the other side of the large highway.

      http://www.nytimes.com/1999/11/15/nyregion/mall-accused-of-racism-in-a-wrongful-death-trial-in-buffalo.html?_r=0 This is an article about the incident in more detail. The family of Wiggins sued the mall for its racist justifications. This event took place in the early 90s, way after laws had been erected against segregation. It was not and is not alright for business owners to discriminate based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or class.

    13. The possibility of transformation as a result of architecture raises a related question: where did the people who were using these streets prior to the architectural intervention go? Presumably, they were pushed to a different—possibly less affluent—part of town.

      This raises a good point. Whereas keeping bad things out of an area of town is a good thing for the government to strive toward, it ignores the problem entirely. The people who are perpetrating the crimes should not simply be kicked out of an area, but rather should be sought out individually. Just because the crime leaves a certain area does not mean the crimes do not exist elsewhere. It becomes a cycle.

    14. Another common version of this phenomenon is one of the most obvious forms of architectural exclusion: the walls, gates, and guardhouses of gated communities.106

      Another perspective on walls and gates around more affluent communities is that of the outsider. Not only is it true that the gates keep outsiders out, but it keeps those inside of the gates sheltered and helps assert the idea that the outside is dangerous and bad, even though it is not in many cases. The people inside the gates are victims of their own fear and racism.

    15. This form of physical exclusion by walls and barriers is nothing new.92 However, it is not only a remnant of the distant past, but also exists in more modern examples.

      Donald Trump's proposal of a wall to prevent Mexican immigrants from coming to America is the most prevalent example of this today. However, this type of defense is also prevalent through the Great Wall of China. Just like Trump claims to be securing the nation, so too do city planners who may have ulterior motives that may be racially backed.

    16. or example, Elise C. Boddie argues that places have racial identities based on their history of or reputation for exclusion, and that courts should consider this racial meaning for purposes of racial discrimination claims.64 She further suggests that the racial meaning of a place can allow those in charge, such as police officers, to determine who belongs in that place and who does not

      A specific example of a certain area being the home to a certain race both in the past and now is Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, GA. In the past, this street was the most wealthy black community in the country, but since the Civil Rights Movement, many of the wealthy moved away, but because the businesses in the area were targeted towards black people, there was no motivation for other races, specifically white, to repopulate the area. Now the street is a very poor area, and still heavily known as a poorer black community. Read more about the history and decline of Auburn Avenue at the following link: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/10/atlanta-historic-auburn-ave-again-at-crossroads.html

    17. “there is no such thing as a ‘neutral’ design.”

      There is a reason for everything. This is not to say that every bridge that is low is intended to segregate, but not considering the repercussions of the design does not negate the fact that there WILL be repercussions.

    18. As one planning scholar acknowledged, “[r]ace is a ubiquitous reality that must be acknowledged . . . if [planners] do not want simply to be the facilitators of social exclusion and economic isolation.”42

      It is normal for people to think that taking race out of the equation could lead to a less racist society. But this planning scholar completely dismantles this thought by claiming that it is essential to fixing the problem of racism by fulling acknowledging and accepting the concept of race.

    19. Yet the bench may have been created this way to prevent people—often homeless people—from lying down and taking naps

      Many people would see the first type of bench as a nice thing to do for homeless people by providing shelter. However, the second picture shows a bench that deters homeless people from seeking rest on it, which is a public good that by definition is supposed to be non-excludable. Most people would not view this second bench as being negative. In fact, it is most likely viewed as a nice way to prevent contact with strangers while sitting on the bench.

    20. People used the law by passing ordinances saying that certain individuals could not access certain locations.24 Social norms encouraged some to threaten undesirable persons with violence if they were to enter or remain in certain spaces

      Jim Crow laws were used in the past to segregate. An example of violence that could ensue were the multiple sit ins by nonviolent protesters who were met with angry white men and women who refused them service and refused to be served in the same space as them.

    21. Such devices include physical barriers to access—low bridges, road closings, and the construction of walls—as well as the placement of transit stops, highway routes, one-way streets, and parking-by-permit-only requirements.

      https://www.schlittlaw.com/blog/low-bridges-long-island-parkways/ These lower bridges can lead to death! This bridge in New York, pictured above, was built by Robert Moses, who has a history of creating restricting infrastructure.

    22. This hidden power suggests that lawmakers and judges should be especially diligent in analyzing the exclusionary impacts of architecture, but research demonstrates that they often give these impacts little to no consideration.2

      The power is hidden in that it is hard to prove intent, as I mentioned in a previous annotation above. However, it is only hard to prove if you are not looking for the problem that so many people and scholars are pointing to, which is this exclusionary practice through city planning, architecture, and infrastructure. So since these things have been noticed in patterns, and even in some instances out right admitted, there should be more of a movement to punish such acts as segregation.

    23. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to this action, stating that the road closure was just a “routine burden of citizenship” and a “slight inconvenience.”11 Justice Marshall dissented, acknowledging that this inconvenience carried a “powerful symbolic message.”

      Marshall was the Court's 96th justice and its first African-American justice. This may help to explain why he, of all the justices of the court, was the only one to understand the racial implication of the architectural exclusion.

    24. t the request of white residents, in 1974 the city of Memphis closed off a street that connected an all-white neighborhood to a primarily black one


      These maps show how apparent the segregation is in the area of Memphis 1970 and 1980 which may explain the community idea of keeping the different racial groups segregated.

    25. Although the law has addressed the exclusionary impacts of racially restrictive covenants and zoning ordinances, most legal scholars, courts, and legislatures have given little attention to the use of these less obvious exclusionary urban design tactics. Street grid layouts, one-way streets, the absence of sidewalks and crosswalks, and other design elements can shape the demographics of a city and isolate a neighborhood from those surrounding it.

      The law and the government both address exclusionary impacts, but neither can or will do anything about what is happening. It seems that there is no way to prove the intent of these tactics, even though the intents, once studied, can be quite clear to those willing to believe it.

    26. According to his biographer, Moses directed that these overpasses be built intentionally low so that buses could not pass under them.4 This design decision meant that many people of color and poor people, who most often relied on public transportation, lacked access to the lauded public park at Jones Beach.5

      In a review of the graphic novel, "Robert Moses: The Master Builder of New York City", David Langdon states that, "for each groundbreaking feat of structural engineering and political mobilization, there is another story told of his callous social engineering, the consequences of which reshaped the lives of New Yorkers as much as his architecture." The authors of the graphic novel, Pierre Christin and Olivier Balez, use a sequence of pictures to expose the multiple facets of this architect who was both a master at his craft, while also a profound racist and destroyer. Read more about this novel: http://www.archdaily.com/772815/robert-moses-the-master-builder-of-new-york-city-pierre-christin-and-olivier-balez

    27. The lack of public-transit connections to areas north of the city makes it difficult for those who rely on transit—primarily the poor and people of color—to access job opportunities located in those suburbs.8

      This type of exclusion, whether intentional or not, leads to segregation in the long run that may last for years, decades, generations, or centuries. Later on, the article mentions that there are businesses in wealthier regions that need employees but cannot attract any because of how the transit system works.