The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion

A book about accessibility in the built environment in the US.


Project Team: 

Tobias Armborst, Daniel D'Oca, Georgeen Theodore, Riley Gold, Rebecca Beyer-Wink, Lynley Bernstein, Dare Brawley, Charlene Chai, Matthew Clark, Azzurra Cox, James Estrada, Michaela Friedberg, Alberto Gonzalez Ruiz, Jihwan Han, David Himelman, George Hewitt, Katherine Isidro, Nicholas Korody, Urs Kumberger, Matthew Lohry, Rachael London, Ondine Masson, Noah Michelon, Eka Pramuditha, Hilla Rudanko, E Talbot Schmidt, Eric Schwartau, Samu Szemerey, Rafael Soldi, Kathryn Sonnabend, Pedro Torres Garcia-Canto, Arielle Wiener-Bronner, Margaret Zyro

with Tim Davis (photography), Lesser Gonzalez (cover illustration)

with essays from Baye Adofo-Wilson, Robert Beauregard, Julie Behrens, Andrew D. Blechman, Lisa Brawley, Marshall Brown, The Center for Urban Pedagogy, Jana Cephas, Charles Connerly, N. D. B. Connolly, Margaret Crawford, Gabrielle Esperdy, Yael Friedman, David M.P. Freund, Gerald Frug, James Giresi, Toni Griffin, Jeff Goldenson, Adam Gordon, Marta Gutman, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Chester Hartman, Joseph Heathcott, Sonia A. Hirt, Vincent James, Jeffrey Johnson, Andrew W. Kahrl, John Kaliski, Nicholas Korody, Sharon Perlman Krefetz, Kaja Kühl, Michael Kubo, Naa Oyo A. Kwate, Matthew Lassiter, Amy Lavine, Cynthia Lee, James W. Loewen, The Los Angeles Urban Rangers, Oksana Mironova, Miodrag Mitrasinovic, Gabriella Modan, Raymond A. Mohl, W. Edward Orser, Ellen Pader, A.E. Peterson, Antero Pietilä, Albert Pope, Wendy Plotkin, Quilian Riano, Damon Rich, Brian Ripel, James Rojas, Richard Rothstein, David Rusk, Beryl Satter, Susanna F. Schaller, Anthony (Tony) Schuman, Theresa Schwarz, Susan Schweik, Lisa Selin Davis, Gregory D. Squires, Lior Strahilevitz, Takako Tajima, Tom Vanderbilt, Stephen Walker, Rosten Woo, Jennifer Yoos, Andy Yan

Urban History 101 teaches us that the built environment is not the product of invisible, uncontrollable market forces, but of human-made tools that could have been used differently (or not at all). The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion is an encyclopedia of 202 tools--or what we call "weapons"--used by architects, planners, policy-makers, developers, real estate brokers, activists, and other urban actors in the United States use to restrict or increase access to urban space. The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion inventories these weapons, examines how they have been used, and speculates about how they might be deployed (or retired) to make more open cities in which more people feel welcome in more spaces.

The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion includes minor, seemingly benign weapons like no loitering signs and bouncers, but also big, headline-grabbing things like eminent domaon and city-county consolidation. It includes policies like expulsive zoning and annexation, but also practices like blockbusting, institutions like neighborhood associations, and physical things like bombs and those armrests that park designers put on benches to make sure homeless people don't get too comfortable. It includes historical things that aren't talked about too much any more (e.g., ugly laws), things that seem historical but aren't (e.g., racial steering), and things that are brand new (e.g., aging improvement district).

With contributions from over fifty of the best minds in architecture, urban planning, urban history, and geography, The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion offers a wide-ranging view of the policies, institutions, and social practices that shape our cities. It can be read as a historical account of the making of the modern American city, a toolbox of best practices for creating better, more just spaces, or as an introduction to the process of city-making in The United States.

thumbnail illustration by Lesser Gonzalez

background images by Tim Davis