I'm inclined to see the phrase
the curious combination of freedom, self-made fences, and paralyzing preoccupation that the city provides.
as engaging rhetoric that doesn't bear close analysis.
The city provides a combination of things. OK.
The combination is curious. OK, curious in the sense of interesting or peculiar.
What things? Freedom, OK.
Self-made fences? self? who is the self here? The city provides self-made fences? Is the city making them itself? Or is the inhabitant of the city making them? In which case how did the city "provide" that? Perhaps the city provides situations where the people need to make fences? Not sure that I really believe that.
Paralyzing Preoccupation? With what are we preoccupied and how is it paralyzing us. Again how does the city "provide" this. Could a city provide preoccupation of any kind? Thinking of New York if it provides anything that preoccupies it is those things that lead to anything but paralysis - pushing, shoving, trading, making money.
How does any of that lead to love of the City?
I can imagine building a speech or a sermon that starts from this phrase and builds and explains. But in isolation I don't see an obvious meaning. It suggests ideas, witness other answers, but don't think it has clear meaning.