chapter  1
74 Pages

Town Planning and the Urban and

The debate on colonial discourse and post-colonial theory further evolved from that of the 1970s, when ‘Third World’ writers began to ‘write back’. An important part of the post-colonial debate concerned the colonial urban landscape and its legacy. Hence, Jane M. Jacobs’ ‘geographies of imperialism’ highlighted that in Perth, Australia’s indigenous Aborigines saw their sacred Goonininup grounds given only a symbolic space. But how true is Zygmunt Bauman’s claim that ‘urban planning became the vehicle’ for the ‘perfect world that would know no misfits … [with] no unattended sites left to chance’?2 Odile Goerg and Chantal Chanson-Jabeur examined different criteria for urbanism in its colonial context, questioning the use of ‘models’; whilst Christelle Robin saw at least three factors in the many ‘models’ of the ‘ville européenne’ urban morphologies that were supposedly transferred to the colonies: history, geography, culture. These combined to form a singularly colonial urban landscape.3