Urban Planning and Cultural Identity

1st Edition

William Neill

Routledge
Published October 23, 2003
Reference - 272 Pages
ISBN 9780415259156 - CAT# RU23014
Series: RTPI Library Series

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Summary

Urban Planning and Cultural Identity reviews the intense spatiality of conflict over identity construction in three cities where culture and place identity are not just post-modernist playthings but touch on the raw sensibilities of who people define themselves to be. Berlin as the reborn German capital has put 'coming to terms with' the Holocaust and the memory of the GDR full square at the centre of urban planning. Detroit raises questions about the impotence and complicity of planners in the face of the most extreme metropolitan spatial apartheid in the United States and where African-American identity now seems set on a separatist course. In Belfast, in the clash of Irish nationalist and Ulster unionist traditions, place can take on intense emotional meanings in relation to which planners as 'mediators of space' can seem ill equipped.

The book, drawing on extensive interview sources in the case study cities, poses a question of broad relevance. Can planners fashion a role in using environmental concerns such as Local Agenda 21 as a vehicle of building a sense of common citizenship in which cultural difference can embed itself?

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