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By David Fleming

Examines the connection of civic discourse to outfitted environments via a case examine of the Cabrini eco-friendly city revitalization undertaking in Chicago.

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Extra resources for City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America

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If republicans can be accused of ethical overload, liberals can be criticized for their seeming ethical apathy. Despite these differences, however, both ideologies claim to be democratic and to support self-governing communities constituted by their members’ freedom and equality; both place a premium on debate as the mechanism of that self-government; and both recognize the role of a healthy public—a “comingtogether of equals”—in countering tyranny. But where and when does this public occur? How does it show up in concrete, everyday life?

In the end, the old metropolitan patterns are left unchallenged, even strengthened. Part III tries to tease out some general lessons from all this. Clearly, places matter; they differ radically from one another; and those differences contribute to social, political, economic, and rhetorical inequality. The idea that we have slipped the bonds of earth, are now independent of place—floating symbolic analysts, mobile information workers—is false. We remain physical creatures, inherently embodied, inextricably situated, resolutely sensitive to proximity; and the weakest and most vulnerable among us remain the most spatially dependent of all.

3 But even today, membership in the American political community is subject to precisely the kinds of exclusions the Standards deny. S. 7 The truth is that cognitive-affective characteristics, like subscribing to certain values and principles, turn out to be less determinative of American civic identity—and ascriptive characteristics like race and class, more—than the Standards would have us believe. Still, we get the point. We want our public realm to be as open, accessible, and inclusive as possible, and political rights and responsibilities to be a function of laws and procedures rather than the attributes and attachments of particular, spatiotemporally situated men and women.

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