Zoning for Apartheid

Lisa Findley & Liz Ogbu explain how architecture and urban planning were critical to apartheid in South Africa and how Le Corbusier and Ebenezer Howard influenced the racial segregation practice.

In this extensive piece for Design Observer, Findley and Ogbu explain how
"Design practices became cultural extensions of state power, and some professional designers validated the power of the white minority through the design of monumental structures such as the Union Buildings and Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, and through the planning of new townships mandated under laws such as the Group Areas Act (1950), which specified where racial groups were allowed to live in urban areas."

Planning history provided models for segregation:

"Le Corbusier's concept of temporary workforce housing, presented in the 1922 utopian proposal Ville Contemporaine, inspired the white South African vision of the positive yet controlled movement of a black population as temporary labor; and the influence of Ebenezer Howard's Garden Cities can be seen in township plans, which often included neatly drawn boulevards and neighborhoods laid out in lovely curving grids."

Full Story: South Africa: From Township to Town


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