Reflection: Changes from Built Environment Analysis Draft to Final Paper

I did not receive feedback on my draft before the final paper was due, so I reached out to friends to read my draft and give me a peer review. Based on the critiques I received, I modified my draft to reach my final paper in the following ways.

  • I added a title for the article to the top of my post to make the paper more appealing to my audience.
  • I modified my introduction paragraph to provide a more clean explanation of the definition of a 95/20 ratio.
  • I provided an explanation of what “rhetoric of the built environment” means to me, in terms of my writing, in my introductory paragraph.
  • I added the heading, “Historical Impacts on Income Inequality and the Built Environment” above the first main section of my article.
  • I added the heading, “The Role of Transportation in Perpetuating Income Inequality” above the second main section of my article.
  • I added the heading, “Gentrification as a Means to Meet Growing Demand and a Cause of Growing Levels of Income Inequality” above the third main section of my article.
  • I added the heading, “Inadequate Amenities for Low-Income Families Pushed Further Away From The City” above the fourth main section of my article.
  • I added the heading, “In Conclusion” above the final main section of my article.
  • I added an explanation of what the term white flight means into the first main section of my article instead of assuming everyone in my audience would be familiar with the term.
  • I added an explanation of what the term gentrification means into the third main section of my article instead of assuming everyone in my audience would be familiar with the term.
  • I read through my writing many times and corrected spelling and grammar errors.
  • While cleaning up errors, I changed the wording in many places to make my writing more clear to understand.

Built Environment Analysis (DRAFT)

Thesis: The rhetoric of the built environment of Atlanta shows that racial discrimination, white flight, car dominated transportation network, and segregation by race and class have caused Atlanta to have the highest income inequality ratio in the country, and the same factors that led to severe income inequality in Atlanta are perpetuating the problem today.

  1. As a result of a long history of white flight and racial discrimination, Atlanta’s transportation network is predominately designed for travel by car. Consistent public transportation is present downtown and in the immediately surrounding areas. Evidence:
    1. “Using Vehicle Value as a Proxy for Income: A Case Study on Atlanta’s I-85 HOT Lane” by Sara Khoeini and Randall Guensler
    2. “Atlanta: Unsafe at any Speed: Transit Fatality Raises Issues of Race, Poverty and Transportation Justice” by Laurel Paget-Seekins
    3. “The Human Scale” by Andreas Mol Dalsgaard
  2. While there is some public transportation for people living further away from the center of the city, the current accommodations are insufficient for people without cars. Evidence:
    1. “Atlanta: Unsafe at any Speed: Transit Fatality Raises Issues of Race, Poverty and Transportation Justice” by Laurel Paget-Seekins
    2. “The Human Scale” by Andreas Mol Dalsgaard
  3. The trend of Atlanta’s middle and upper classes moving out to the suburbs is shifting, and these groups are beginning to move back into the city. Therefore, neighborhoods are being gentrified to meet the growing demand. Evidence:
    1. “CHANGING BOHEMIA Little Five Points, a Haven of Counterculture, Faces Gentrification and Dissension” by Melissa Turner
    2. “Health Impact Assessment of the Atlanta Beltline” by Catherine Ross
  4. Low-income residents that have settled close to the city, along public transportation routes, are having to move further out because the gentrification of neighborhoods raises the cost of housing. Evidence:
    1. “Atlanta: Unsafe at any Speed: Transit Fatality Raises Issues of Race, Poverty and Transportation Justice” by Laurel Paget-Seekins
    2. “How Cities Use Design to Drive Homeless People Away” by Robert Rosenberger
    3. Photo of bench in Little Five Points
  5. The quality and quantity of public transportation decreases as you move further away from the center of the city. Consequently, those living in poverty who have relocated further away from the city are in a worse situation because they do not have the same amenities available to them. Evidence:
    1. “Atlanta: Unsafe at any Speed: Transit Fatality Raises Issues of Race, Poverty and Transportation Justice” by Laurel Paget-Seekins
    2. “Health Impact Assessment of the Atlanta Beltline” by Catherine Ross
    3. Cost of living map and MARTA map side by side
  6. The neighborhood one grows up in has been shown to impact their chances for upward economic mobility, therefore gentrification and neighborhoods segregated by class perpetuate income inequality. Evidence:
    1. “The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940” by Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren
    2. “All Cities Are Not Created Unequal” by Alan Berube

Built Environment Analysis Brainstorming

Sites

  • Little Five Points (Built Environment Description)
  • Inside MARTA train car (Everyday personal experience)
  • Woodruff Park (studied for a class last semester)

Research

  • Inadequate access to public transportation for people without cars in car dominated areas (In more suburban areas people without cars have a lot of trouble reaching a grocery store)
  • History of the suburbs why people moved there (to keep themselves segregated from other races) (why they don’t want public transportation and have declined having it implemented and have poor public transportation today)
  • Few options for fixing the congestion issues on highways used by daily commuters during rush hour (HOT lanes are one of the few practical solutions available to change the highway to suit the needs of the increased number of people using it)
  • Atlanta BeltLine designed to give much greater access to people in high-income areas than people in low-income areas, although low-income people without cars could benefit much more from access than rich people who also own a car (no BeltLine access to a grocery store in lowest income area on the loop and much lower percentages of population in low income areas will have easy walking access)
  • Income inequality and low economic mobility are perpetuated by car-domination, class/race segregation into areas, and gentrification (growing up in a better vs worse area actually significantly impacts the chances of being economically successful)
  • Atlanta has highest income inequality ratio of all big cities in the united states (even greater than san francisco something they have in common is car-domination)
  • Little Five Points has people from every age/class/race/style/etc but despite the appearance not everyone is really included or wanted (gentrification and park benches deter homeless space is catered towards visitors and not people who live in the area same with public transportation)

Rough thesis: Microcosm’s of Atlanta, such as Little Five Points, illustrate the issue of income inequality. Atlanta has the highest income inequality ratio of any large city in the United States which is caused by a history of racial discrimination, white flight to the suburbs, car dominated transportation networks, and segregation by race and class. The same factors that have caused severe income inequality in Atlanta are continuing today and perpetuating the problem of income inequality.

Crap Detection Resource Summary

Howard Rheingold’s Crap Detection 101 Mini-Course discusses the importance of being literate in attention, participation, cooperation, critical consumption or crap detection, and network awareness. He explains that although the internet can provide the answer to any question, it is not useful unless you know how to search for the answer and how to evaluate the credibility and accuracy of the answer you find. The CRAP test is a method of checking the credibility and accuracy of web sources that Rheingold has listed as a Crap Detection Resource. The CRAP test uses CRAP as an acronym with each letter as a category containing questions to ask when evaluating sources.

The first letter “C” stands for currency and poses questions that relate to the currency of the source. According to the test, when evaluating the currency of source you should check how current the information is, how recent the website has been updated, and see if the information is current enough for your topic. Evaluating sources to see how current they are is important because the accurate answer to a question can change over time, and a person who published information on the internet is not held responsible for keeping their information current and accurate.

The second letter “R” stands for reliability and asks questions that look at features of the information that give it the appearance of being reliable or unreliable. According to the test, when evaluating the reliability of information provided by a source you should look at the kind of information included, check if the content is balanced or mostly based on opinion, and see if the source cites sources or uses quotes. Evaluating sources to see if the information inside them is credible is important because there are many different sources containing the same information on the internet, and they are not always consistent. Since anyone can put out information on the internet, you cannot assume that the information is reliable.

The third letter “A” stands for authority and asks questions that look into the sources author and their authority in making claims on the topic. According to the test, when evaluating the authority of the author you should look into who the author is, what their credentials are, who the publisher or sponsor is, the reputation of the publisher and author, the publisher’s interest in the information, and the lack or presence of advertisements on the website. Evaluating the authority of the author and publisher is important because it can tell you whether or not the person is an expert in their topic, what the public thinks about their work, and why they wrote the source. These are important things to look at because they help determine whether or not the information is coming from a trustworthy place.

The final letter “P” stands for purpose/point of view and asks questions about the bias of the information, publisher, and author. According to the test, when evaluating the purpose and point of view you should decide if the information is fact or opinion, biased, or trying to sell you something. Evaluating the purpose and point of view portrayed by the source and it’s author and publisher are important because it establishes the intentions behind the article. Information on the internet can be made available with the purpose of deceiving you or convincing you of something, so it is important to check and see if the source has bad intentions to avoid falling for them when they’re present.

Syllabus and Course Info Quiz

What are the major projects? In a bulleted list, provide links to the project descriptions for each of them.

How will your final grade be calculated? Your final grade is calculated by adding up all of the points you have earned for doing things such as attending class, completing in-class work, completing class prep, major projects, and contributing to the archive about the built environment of Atlanta. Then 100 points are subtracted for each missed class. The points are all added up and a letter grade is assigned based on where the points your earned lie on the range of points assigned to each letter.

What happens if you don’t complete one of the major projects? Failure to complete any of the major projects will result in an automatic grade of “D” or lower meaning that you will have to re-take the class.

What is the “submission form” and how do you use it? Embed the form below your answer (hint: Google “embed Google form” to find out how).

Embed the course calendar and weekly overview below this question.

Where on the course website can you find an overview of what’s due and the readings for each unit? In the Calendar tab if you select Units Overview, you will be directed to a section where the weeks are grouped together as units and the readings and due dates for projects are listed.

What is the best way to see an overview of what’s due each week? The best way to view an overview of what’s due each week is to check the weekly overview. To view the weekly overview click here. 

What is the attendance policy? The attendance policy is to show up to every class and to arrive on time. You will lose 100 points for unexcused absences. Arriving to class late may result in a deduction of 50-100 points.

What is one way you can lose points? You can lose points for missing class, failing to turn in a project on time, coming to class unprepared, etc., etc.

What are my office hours, the office hours of the two community instructors, and how do you make an appointment to see one of us outside of  class?

Dr. Wharton – Office: 25 Park Place #2434 Office Hours: T/Th 9-11 am, W 9-10 am

Mrs. Arrington  – Office: 25 Park Place, 22d floor Office Hours: M/W 1-3 pm

Ms. Rose – Office: 25 Park Place, 22d floor Office Hours: M/W 10:30 am-12:30 pm

How do you earn participation credit? Provide a link to the instructions/guidelines for participation.  You can earn general participation points by keeping up with class preparation each week. Further, at any time during the course of the semester, you are invited to complete and submit work for extra participation points. Click here to see the instructions/guidelines for participation. 

How many points can you earn by participating in or organizing a study group session? By participating in or organizing a study group session, you can receive 20 points (instructors reserve the right to assign more points for impressively substantial, quality entries). You must fill out a “submission form” for extra points.

How can you be assured of earning an “A” in this course? Once you complete all of the major projects and class prep, and accrue 5,985 points, you will automatically receive an A in the course.

What are the minimum requirements for earning a passing grade of “C”? If you complete and earn the minimum points for all of the major projects, complete all of the class prep, and attend every class, you will earn at least 2,200 points and a grade of “C.”

What do you do if you’re not sure how to document your participation in order to earn points? If you ever have questions about what kind of evidence you need to provide to document your participation and how to submit it, stop by during office hours or ask the question before or after class.

What are the Unit 1 readings and which one is your group assigned to focus on for the Unit 1 Reading Response? The Unit 1 readings are “Parting Ways” by James Deetz and “Introduction,” from Invitation to Vernacular Architecture by Thomas Carter and Elizabeth Collins Cromley. My group is assigned “Parting Ways” to focus on for the Unit 1 Reading Response.