Garden cities and colonial planning

Transnationality and urban ideas in Africa and Palestine

Editors: Liora Bigon and Yossi Katz

The present collection is intended as a study of European planning ideas in the form of garden city concepts and practices in their broadest sense, and the ways these were transmitted, diffused and diverted in various colonial territories and situations. The socio-political, geographical and cultural implications of the processes are analysed here by means of cases from the global South, namely from French and British colonial territories in Africa as well as from Ottoman and British Mandate Palestine. The focus on the extra-European planning history of Europe – particularly in Africa and Palestine in the context of the garden city – is unprecedented in research literature, which tends to concentrate on the global North. Our focus on transnational aspects of the garden city requires a study of frameworks and documentation that extend beyond national borders. The present collection is composed of chapters written by an international network of specialists whose comparative views and critical approaches challenge the more conventional, Eurocentric, narrative relating to garden cities. A guiding principle that runs through this collection is that the spread of garden city ideas into the selected colonial territories was not uni-directional, considering the ‘traditional', reductive, centre-periphery analytical framework that characterises urban studies. This spread of ideas – by nature an uncontrolled process – was rather diffusive, crossing complex and multiple frontiers, and sometimes including quite unexpected ‘flows'.

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