Photo Credits: Catherine Tang, Spring 2012, my desk.
It’s been a week since midterm, and although it went fairly well, I still have a lot of work to do to convince my audience of my argument. Today, I read through (most of) Gerald Frug’s book called “City Making: Building Communities without Building Walls.” It is an excellent book that eloquently points out a lot of the problems in the ways cities (in the American legal context) are empowered by state law to do the things that they do ultimately resulting in the ways that our metropolitan region is fragmented, segregated, etc. It’s a good read for those interested in how law, as the organizing mighty structure under which we function in, affects the ways in which we live in. Here’s a quick quote:
… local government law has enabled […] cities to pursue their own self-interest regardless of the impact on their neighbors because it has adopted a privatized conception of the boundary lines between the central city and its suburbs - and between the suburbs themselves. Like the boundary lines that separate one private property-owner from another, city borders have become a vehicle for dividing us from them, our problems from their problems, our money from their money, our future from their future. Those who can afford it can therefore assure themselves of better schools, safer streets, and more homogenous neighborhoods simply by moving from one side of the line to the other.
I’ve had the chance to listen to Gerald speak at a few events around Harvard recently, and he’s excellent. I may have to invite him to my final review, which is in exactly 45 days… not that I’m counting or anything.