Undoing the Spatial Legacy of Apartheid

In manicured neighborhoods for white residents and their "shriveled twins" for black residents, South Africa's nearly 50 years of Apartheid was imprinted on the nation's built landscape. To what extent was Nelson Mandela able to right these wrongs?
December 10, 2013, 1pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Aggressively wielding theories of Modernism and racial superiority, South Africa’s urban planners didn’t just enforce Apartheid, they embedded it into every city – making it a daily, degrading experience for South Africa’s marginalized citizens," writes Vanessa Quirk. She explores the ways that the Apartheid regime used architecture and planning to reinforce their ideology, and the difficulty of deconstructing that spatial legacy.

"As we remember Mandela – undoubtedly the most important man in South Africa’s history – and ponder his legacy, we must also consider his spatial legacy," she continues. "It is in the physical, spatial dimensions of South Africa’s towns and cities that we can truly see Apartheid’s endurance, and consider: to what extent have Mandela’s words of reconciliation and righteous integration, truly been given form?"

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Published on Monday, December 9, 2013 in ArchDaily
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