Planning Theory and Practice
This paper investigates the power of ―"walls" to constrain thought and silence diverse voices of reason within planning. Using die Mauer (The Berlin Wall) as a linking metaphor, this paper juxtaposes mid-1950s planning in a spatially- and ideologically-divided Berlin (Germany) against Harland Bartholomew‘s mid-1950s planning in a racially-divided Louisville, Kentucky (USA). It then juxtaposes the latter against a mid-1950s narrative about efforts to desegregate housing in Louisville. This juxtaposition reveals that some people in Louisville used the Cold War divide between East and West to reinforce the long-standing racial divide between blacks and whites. Moreover, it reveals that, by deferring to Cold War-related racial politics that could not be questioned, Bartholomew‘s technical approach to planning silenced other voices of reason and thereby reflected and reproduced the race-inflected politics of the Cold War divide. The paper concludes by briefly considering what Bartholomew might have done differently in the context and by exploring what this juxtaposition of stories implies for planning in the context of the contemporary ―"war against terrorists."
Published Article/Book Citation
The definitive version was published in Journal Planning Theory and Practice: 5 (2004), pp. 349-365.
Author Posting. Copyright © Sage Publishing, 2004. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the Sage Publishing for personal use, not for redistribution.