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Modernism was 'hollow': the emergence of participatory planning in Philadelphia, 1950-1970

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The notion that broad participation in urban planning was hard won by protesters in the 1960s and 1970s is widely accepted. However, the introduction of participatory modes of planning occurred in the decades preceding the late 1960s. In fact, they were fostered by local technocratic regimes perusing modernist concepts. This article draws on the example of urban renewal schemes in Philadelphia to show how the city's sincere modernist approach to urban planning preconfigured community-based planning methods.

Keywords: Philadelphia; community; modernism; participation; technocracy; urban planning

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of History, Technische Universitat Darmstadt, 64283 Darmstadt, Germany

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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