The Cosmopolitan Canopy Research Paper

In The Cosmopolitan Canopy, the author, Elijah Anderson, discusses and describes public areas in the city of Philadelphia, where diverse groups of people can mingle and relax in peace, despite their differences. Anderson refers to these public spaces as “cosmopolitan canopies.” According to the author, who has lived and worked in different areas of Philadelphia for over 30 years, the city is more racially, ethnically, and socially diverse than ever and is full of “canopies,” which allows strangers to fearlessly interact with each other (Anderson, xv). The author provides a vivid description of the city as it would be seen on a walking tour, emphasizing the cosmopolitan canopies, as well as areas that could be classified as de facto segregation and usually experience more racial tension from visiting outsiders and other ethnic and social groups….

In these areas, diverse groups of people willingly occupy the same space, accept each other, and interact peacefully. Canopies are unique because no one group can claim it as their own (Anderson, 5). Public spaces such as these also offer people opportunities to interact with strangers in a safe setting, to try new things, or to just observe the diversity and humanity surrounding them. People don’t even have to directly interact with each other in order for an area to be considered a canopy. As long as an area is a judgment-free zone and is devoid of tension and fear, any public space being occupied by a large amount of diverse people can be a canopy. For example, in my own observations of Temple University’s Beach and Bell Tower, most people didn’t interact with the individuals around them, but there was a large variety of people, doing different activities, all occupying the same space in peace and…