City Landscapes and Systemic Oppression
by nicolas_bernier on October 16, 2017 - 10:12am
In the article “How Urban Design Perpetuates Racial In equality- And What We Can Do About It” by Diana Budds it is discussed that cities are shaped by the people who plan them. For centuries, in the United States of America, these people where mostly racist and discriminatory. Urban policies like the Housing Act of 1949, passed by congress, helped forge more divisions in various cities. Laws like these helped push slum dwellers out of their homes and on to the streets. Another gravily dividing factor is public transportation and access to it. Lack of viable and efficient public transportation is a helpful tool to keep some communities segregated, and there for the people within them also. It can be as simple as an overpass that is too low for buses to cross to a certain area.
Some believe that there is a need to redesign the landscape of practicing designers. There are extremely low amounts of color and low-income backgrounds individuals in power in these field, which leads to a lack of diversity in ideas.
Others argue that building a more equitable city will pass through government legislation with physical change. From protesters to politicians, everyone seems to see compromise as weakness and this creates large amounts of division. If things and spaces are forcibly made public, then the wealthy 1% will be forced to improve all spaces and not just the ones they own.
Things like noxious factories and highways have purposefully torn low-income neighborhood because they were less important. As a result, investment in beautification go to other areas and these places move from bad to worse.
Discussion: This article showed various sides of the issue. With movements like Black Lives Matter coming in and standing up for their rights, it has become in every politician’s best interest to support the desegregation of cities in America. This is due to the large amount of positive media attention these politicians will get. However, the era of slums, which date back to the Jim Crow area is over and tenants need to accept that changes will affect their communities for better or for worse. Things like gentrification, which, if executed properly will lead to more diverse neighborhoods are inevitable, and some tenants will need to accept this as fact. With involvement from members of every involved community, evictions can be limited and conditions in affordable housing projects will most likely improve.