Monday, October 6, 2014

the book

So many things to post about these past few months . . . so few posts. . .

We have been working furiously to finish The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion the book, and have set aside any and all distractions. 156 essays on 156 weapons of exclusion and inclusion, with about as many photographs and illustrations, makes for a lot of writing and editing. The good news is that it is almost done, and we couldn't be more excited about it.

Until the book actually is done, we likely won't be posting much here. Do follow us on Twitter though (@access_wars), where we will be tweeting more regularly.




Saturday, July 19, 2014

TURBAN

Ber sure to listen to this fascinating story from NPR about how people of color used the TURBAN as a tool for "confounding the color lines."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion on Twitter

The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion is now on Twitter: https://twitter.com/access_wars. Stop by and say hello!

Monday, June 23, 2014

NYTimes on Beach Access

Be sure to check out today's NYTimes Room for Debate on Beach Access. Needless to say, we agree with our pal Andrew W. Kahrl that "beaches are our common inheritance and if we don't want to lose them, their protection must be our collective responsibility."

Saturday, May 17, 2014

FENCE

RIP the New Haven / Hamden "Berlin Wall!" According to New Haven Independent, the 12' tall fence, which Hamden erected five decades ago in response to complaints about crimes committed by people living just over the city / suburb line, will be torn down, thanks in large part to a federal civil-rights investigation and the ensuing threat of a federal lawsuit.

Curious about the history of the wall? There's an interesting piece about it in The New Journal that underlines what a rotten thing this wall is: "Over 3,500 feet long, it assures that the one road into the projects is also the only way out. Residents hoping to buy groceries at a Hamden shopping center three miles away have to travel into New Haven to get around the fence, a 7.7-mile trip that takes two buses and up to two hours to complete. In the case of a flood or fire, emergency vehicles have to travel around the fence to help residents in the projects."

Needless to say, the decision to remove it was controversial: take a look at this New Haven Independent article from August 2012 about a "raucous" meeting of Hamdenites.

This is one of two fences we know of that suburbanites built at the city / suburb line to keep city-dwellers out of the suburbs (the other one was built around Baltimore's Hollander Ridge, which we have written about here previously). Does anyone know of any others?

NIMBY wrap-up


Playing catch-up here:

ADUs ("Granny Flats") in the New York Times

Also in the Times, The Crown Heights TENANT UNION

From Urban Omnibus, an excellent primer on COMMUNITY LAND TRUSTS

From Gothamist, a thoughtful piece on the Urstadt law

From the New Yorker, a thoughtful reflection on Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action

Surely, you have heard of Tennessee's BUS RAPID TRANSIT BAN by now

Here is the Washington Post on "What happens when the government tries to help poor people move to better neighborhoods?"

Why Is NYC Destroying A Thriving Immigrant Economy To Bail Out The Mets' Owners? That's a great question, Gothamist!





Saturday, March 1, 2014

Socio-Technical Artifact of the Month!

We have a new socio-technical artifact of the month! Congratulations to this 10-level steel wheelchair ramp in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland!

The picture comes courtesy of the Guardian, who related this fascinating story of accessible design.

See the previous winner of the socio-technical artifact of the month here.

FIRE

In our forthcoming book, we have essays about the secret, exclusionary life of FIRE ZONES and FIRE HYDRANTS; now it looks like we might have to add an essay about the secret, exclusionary life of FIRE itself. As the NYTimes reports, a developer is trying to build a $15 million, four-story, low(er)-income housing development "in a weed-covered, third-of-an-acre patch . . . squeezed between Metro-North Railroad tracks, an exit ramp off the Saw Mill Parkway and a stone bridge over the tracks." This would be interesting and arsenal of exclusion-worthy in and of itself, but the weapon in this case makes it an instant arsenal classic. Why can't this project be built? "The building inspector, William J. Maskiell, contends the site is hazardous because there is insufficient width around some sides of the building for fire ladders to gain access. He and the fire chief, Russell Maitland, also argue that an arched stone overpass leading to the site is too low to permit the largest fire trucks to pass." The developer made the obvious point that indeed few apartment buildings have access on all four sides. It's not too hard to see through this one. Hopefully the The Hudson Valley Board of Review will too when it hears the case in April.

For other posts about affordable housing projects facing opposition in other wealthy towns here, here, and here).

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

School Segregation Video on Nick News

This is definitely the first time we have posted anything from Nickelodeon, but judging from the sheer awesomeness of this "Nick News"video about Brown v. Board of Ed and Segregated Schools, it may not be the last. May every SpongeBob-watching child everywhere see this video.

Friday, February 14, 2014

CAMPING ORDINANCE

This is a particularly sinister one. As reported in Forward Progressives, from Pensacola, Florida, a “camping ordinance” within the city that basically makes it illegal for anyone outside to cover themselves with a newspaper or blanket in cold or otherwise inclement weather. 

Wow.

See previous posts on the SIDEWALK SITTING BAN, SIDEWALK MANAGEMENT PLAN, and HOMELESS FEEDING BAN to learn about the other weapons on the war against the homeless.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Kimmelman on the Korean seniors v. McDonald's kerfuffle

We simply love this article from our favorite architecture critic, Michael Kimmelman, as it combines so many of our interests (NORCs, Flushing, odd land-use disputes). It's also asks such an important question that no one bothered to ask in the coverage of the Korean seniors v. Flushing McDonald's kerfuffle: why were Korean seniors hanging out at this Flushing McDonald's in the first place? Recommended reading.  

Thursday, January 30, 2014

DRIVE-THRU

From the Atlantic Cities, an article about DRIVE-THRUS and how they discriminate against non-drivers by denying service to pedestrians, bikers, and wheelchair users. Reading the piece helped us recall that we had actually experienced this about a decade ago at a McDonald's on Tillary Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK on BUSING


In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, here's one of our favorite MLK quotes, from a 1963 interview in which he was asked about BUSING:

"I lean towards the view that it is a very tragic thing for young people, children to grow up in association, communication with only people of their own race. Prejudices develop from the very beginning because of this. Narrow provincial views emerge because of this. I think the only way to break this kind of provincialism is to bring people together on a level of genuine intergroup and interpersonal living. I do not think we can afford to wait until all the problems of residential segregation are solved before we grapple with the problem of segregation in educational institutions. Therefore, I lean towards the idea that segregation must be removed from schools all over the country. For I do not think that the residential segregation must be used as an excuse for the perpetuation of segregation in educational institutions."