A Rhetorical Analysis
Elevator or the stairs? Mostly every time many would choose to take the elevator versus the stairs. As city folk we want to get to our destination as fast as we can and with as little effort as possible. In an article in the New York Times called “Designing an Active, Healthier City” by Meera Senthilingam; Senthilingam dives into a new innovative answer to urbanizations physical damage that little to no exercise has caused for city folk called “active design”. “Active Design” is defined as having set principles and designs that promote physical activity in every day life ans tasks. Senthilingam begins to introduce factual information and statistics that give Senthilingam substantial credibility along with successfully laying out ethical appeals to the readers, and finally tugging on the readers’ emotional strings also known as ethos, with the outlook of a healthier happier life for people who live in cities.
In her article, Senthilingam depicts the lives of the everyday New Yorker and the little physical activity people choose to not participate in as an anecdote for her proposotion for “active design”. Senthilingam highlights that cities and the effects of urbanization have left little to no room for physical activity. Subways, fast pace lifestyles, elevators and the location of many facilites in one building have given people, mostly city folk, gthe exuse rto optout of thier daily physical activiy to can be detrimental for the human body. Senthilingam continues to discuss the many types of ways that a city is built and the cities infrastructure makes people get less physical activity and that the less access to parks and green spaces a community has the more likely they are to be at risk of obesity and diseases. Senthilingam writes about “active design” and how transportation, recreation, buildings and access to food are critical for change. Lack of green spaces gives people nononcentive to want to go inside and enjoy nature. Urbanization has limited green spaces around mega cities as well as damages the nature that alwardy surrounds cities with enviormnetal hazards like air and noise pollution, and green house gas emmisions that stay in our ozone.
In Senthilingams’ article, she uses a strong appeal to ethos to establish credibility and present that she is getting her information from credible sources. She uses Lee Altman a former active design coordinator for New York City who now lectures as an assistant professor in Columbia University’s urban design program, Carol Horowitz, an associate professor of health policy and medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Joanna Frank, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Active Design in an efforts to prove that the information that she is getting is legitimate since they all have knowledge of their field. Senthilingam also uses health concerns of human biengs as a means to “pull the emotional strings” of the readers so that they can get worried for city dwellers that are living unhealthy lifestyles
In addition to Senthilingam’s appeal to ethos, she uses an appeal to logos in order to build strong points that favor Senthilingam’s argument about negative effects urbanization has caused on the physical bodies of city inhibitors. Senthilingam uses credible sources such as New York City’s Health Departments statistics that “more than half of the city’s adult population is either overweight (34 percent) or obese (22 percent), and the convenience of their environment has contributed to this” (qtd. in Senthilingam) as well as quoting Joanna Frank, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Active Design and their findings that “The communities that have the least access to well-maintained sidewalks and parks have the highest risk of obesity and chronic disease,” (qtd. in Senthilingam). By introducing statistics, the reader can have a firm basis of understanding of the status quo and that this is a meaningful problem that needs to be solved.
With ethos and pathos already established, Senthilingam uses ethos to pull on the strings of the readers. Senthilingam paints a lovely picture of city folk who get more exercise as happier healthier people. One person described her experience in with more physical activity in their lives as “feeling inspired to live healthier” and that people deserve “People need to love where they live and where they work,”. These phrases seem inspirational as if wanting to make the reader feel like getting up and doing some life changes as well.
Senthilingam effectively uses ethos, logos, and pathos to enforce her argument that city folk are being deprived from a healthy lifestyle stemming from the results of urbanization. Senthilingam uses statistics to show numbers to the reader, ethos to illustrate credibility and finally ethos to further draw in her audience to want to make a change. Readers should have no problem understanding Senthilingam’s points, thesis, and evidence.