Fishbowl City

Postcolonial Los Angeles and the philosophy of the urban

Authored by: Ananya Roy

The New Companion to Urban Design

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138302129
eBook ISBN: 9780203731932
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780203731932-4

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Abstract

Urban studies is witnessing a lively debate about theory and methodology, especially in relation to a global and comparative understanding of urbanism. In this chapter, I outline a philosophy of the urban, which relies on postcolonial theory and black geographies. The implications for urban design are three-fold. First, such an approach makes possible an analysis of urban displacement attentive to racialized dispossession. Second, it challenges Eurocentrism and its modalities of universalization. Third, it brings into view imaginations and practices of radical solidarity and collectivism that are forged under conditions of otherness. Instead of making these arguments in the context of cities located in the Global South, I interpret Los Angeles as a postcolonial city, one where histories of occupation and expulsion are being transformed by social movements into decolonial imaginations of placemaking.

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