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Built Environment as Performing Politics: Historicizing urban inequality in the global South
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science and Technology (name changed 20120201).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0611-7512
2016 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores how city-builders in East Africa have imagined and re-imagined futures of their built environments, in colonial and post-colonial settings, with focus on Nairobi in Kenya. In the colonial period, cities were imagined and co-constructed with narratives that centred around modernity and health, creating a (racialised) social order which was reflected in infrastructures and the built environment. After independence in the 1960s the new African states re-imagined the cities as places of African nationalism and pride, but which was nested onto the colonialist tradition of modernity and central control. The inequality which was already coded into the built environment thus has persisted, and state actors have remained "unseeing" with respect to the need for socio-technical innovation within the black boxes of technology that make up vital parts of the built environment. In re-imagining futures of cities in Africa - and other parts of global South - there is a need to unpack the monolithic and centralistic views of the modernist state, and make way for heterogeneous and pluralistic perspectives on the built environments.     

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
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History of Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193101OAI: diva2:975165
(Re)Imagining Future(s): Ecology, Emancipation and the Built Environment, 22-23 September, 2016, Shiv Nadar University, Uttar Pradesh, India

QC 20160930

Available from: 2016-09-28 Created: 2016-09-28 Last updated: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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