chapter  3
A Colonial Genealogy of Planning
Pages 34

The ‘origins’ of modern planning in British settler states are not to be found in Britain alone. Colonies were the places where European ideas traveled to and then sought to dominate Indigenous ideas and systems. Yet as ‘laboratories of modernity’ (Stoler 1995, 15), colonies were also the places where those ideas either found their best expression, or were re-shaped, newly moulded, dissolved away, or challenged into obscurity. Colonies, then, are a particular kind of ‘produced’ space in Lefebvre’s terms. It is the production of a new experiment with space, the attempted inscription of particular sensibilities (in this case European ones) in a space that is ‘new’ to those sensibilities. These sensibilities might be seen, from the view of colonizers, as having their purest potential in colonial projects, finding expression in the colonial encounter in a way they could not at ‘home’. Colonisers encountered space in the ‘New World’ in a way resonant with their encounters with the peoples of that space: as radically Othered, not Europe(an).