Influences Of A Walk
Reading Journal Response:
Throughout the years Chicago has shifted drastically from an urban working community where most who lived in Chicago worked in Chicago. Now as time has passed Chicago’s infrastructure has gotten much larger making it now a highly commuted city. This is in part due to the highway system built making Chicago easily accessible to the suburbs. This was a huge issue as it brought out money and jobs from those who were working in Chicago and living in it. This eventually brought infrastructure and union jobs out of the city creating a social capital that was very poor within Chicago. This created an environment in Chicago that had been taken over by businesses and the suburbs. The social capital in places that once had families living and working in, is now much lower. This is because many of those working in the city do not care as much about how it looks compared to where they live.
Many times streets or blocks will be taken over by infrastructure or big businesses and completely take the history away from a spot. These areas turned into attractions that were not favored for walking and became a place you only walked through if you had to. Now in today’s age, many streets and blocks are being reclaimed by making them beautiful again. This can be done with decorations or a local business, but overall creates a community again. Also reclaiming is all about the community so to correctly reclaim back a block you have to reclaim the people by making it a place you would take a detour to walk through. (268)
Through the readings in last week’s and this week’s articles I have narrowed my decision for my theme to be: Chicago; A Game of Life. The meaning of these themes comes down to the age demographics of Chicago, as the city is very segregated by age and wealth. For example, the Gold Coast would be classified as an older community, but a very wealthy and safe one. Chicago has so many different experiences for every part of someone’s life which is why this theme fits perfectly and can illustrate the city in an amazing fashion.
“Human beings evolved to move at a pace of three miles an hour, breathing easily, hands free, seeking food and shade.”(Malchik)
This quote was from the first reading and gives a great example of how the city has become what it is today. For example, during the “white flight”, mostly white people fled the city into suburbs to seek comfort in a house and get away from the violence. This would directly relate to how shade meant to us way back in the day as it serves as a protector from the sun, such as the suburbs served as protection from the crazy city. This quote’s meaning is then shown, as to how we as humans react to our environment changing and what we look for in one.
“For decades, Americans have been losing their ability, even their right, to walk.”(Malchik)
This quote directly relates to the topic of both of these articles. As infrastructure has expanded it has taken out many beautiful scenes and streets. This is a huge issue today especially with saving our nature and global pollution. Today there is a huge apartment complex on a lot that used to be a garden for the community or a Chase bank on the community old park. Those are just some examples of how people in many communities have lost their ability to walk. Overall people will keep continuing to lose their ability to walk unless we focus on preserving our history and beautiful scenery.
“In nearby Forest Park, about 3,500 graves had to be moved at the Forest Home and Concordia cemeteries to make way for the expressway, delaying construction and pushing up costs.”(Loerzel)
This quote is from the second article and directly relates to the highway created from the suburbs to the city to create a much faster travel time. This highway was very controversial as its creation would destroy communities and the ability to walk in certain areas and directions. From this quote, you can see just to the extent they went to build this highway. This exposes the greed of the higher-up officials and how they are one main reason why Chicago has lost so much walkability.