Displacing Blackness: Planning, Power, and Race in Twentieth-Century Halifax
Speaker: Ted Rutland, Associate Professor, Concordia University
Modern urban planning has long promised to improve the quality of human life. But how is human life defined? Displacing Blackness develops a unique critique of urban planning by focusing, not on its subservience to economic or political elites, but on its efforts to improve people’s lives.
While focused on twentieth-century Halifax, Displacing Blackness develops broad insights about the possibilities and limitations of modern planning. Drawing connections between the history of planning and emerging scholarship in Black Studies, Ted Rutland positions anti-blackness at the heart of contemporary city-making. Moving through a series of important planning initiatives, from a social housing project concerned with the moral and physical health of working-class residents to a sustainability-focused regional plan, Displacing Blackness shows how race – specifically blackness – has defined the boundaries of the human being and guided urban planning, with grave consequences for the city’s Black residents.
About the 2018-2019 FES Speaker Series: (Re) Making Urban Space
This research-focused speaker series takes a multi-format and interdisciplinary perspective, to interrogate 11 relevant topics involving planning, urban infrastructures and civic capacity. Through a mix of panel discussions, guest lectures and roundtables, the goal is to generate critical debate on topics that intersect planning practice, governance, infrastructures and place-making in contemporary cities.
The topics have been curated by consulting FES faculty and students on emerging areas of interest in urban studies, and by balancing out historical and theoretical discussions with contemporary planning debates.
While most of the events are connected to the Toronto context, speakers will also present research from diverse cities such as Halifax, Kitchener-Waterloo, Vancouver, Detroit, French municipalities and Bogotá, Colombia.