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The City Planner Behind 9/11

Mohamed Atta, one of the 9/11 terrorists, pursued a masters degree in city planning before the attacks. Slate's Daniel Brooks reads Atta's masters thesis, and finds a strain of anti-Western modernism that is revealing.

"The subject of the thesis is a section of Aleppo, Syria's second city. Atta describes decades of meddling by Western urban planners, who rammed highways through the neighborhood's historic urban fabric and replaced many of its once ubiquitous courtyard houses with modernist high-rises. Atta calls for rebuilding the area along traditional lines, all tiny shops and odd-angled cul-de-sacs. The highways and high-rises are to be removed-in the meticulous color-coded maps, they are all slated for demolition. Traditional courtyard homes and market stalls are to be rebuilt."

Thanks to Ariel Ben-Amos

Full Story: The Architect of 9/11: What Can We Learn About Mohamed Atta From His Work as a Student of Urban Planning?



unusual way to protest modernism

Mohamed Atta certainly found an unusual way to protest modernism and high-rise structures. I prefer to use less unconventional ways myself.

Two Protests Against Modernism

Minoru Yamasaki was the architect of both the World Trade Center and the Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis - the first modernist housing project to be demolished.

Charles Jencks said that the demolition of Pruitt-Igoe in 1972 marked the end of modernism. Unfortunately, the reports of the end of modernism were premature.

Charles Siegel

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