Decolonising and re-indigenising neighbourhood design
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Citation:Clark, G. (20923) Decolonising and re-indigenising neighbourhood design Asylum 1 (2023): 71–74. https://doi.org/10.34074/aslm.2023109
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/6174
How do we create a fairer, more equitable future? How do we create neighbourhoods that serve and nurture us; spaces that reflect us, that bring beauty, that inform our identities? Urbanists are generally reluctant to address the past in order to summon that more equitable future. However, I believe that it cannot be achieved without decolonisation. Before we get into it, we’ll need to set some parameters. I cannot dictate exactly how Māori should be represented or what mātauranga Māori should mean. That’s not what this piece is. Its purpose is instead to provide an overview of this topic and what Aotearoa can do to decolonise architecture and urban design on a larger scale. Hopefully, it will also introduce you to some incredible people and research that I highly recommend you dig into after this. Next, decolonisation, even just for design, is a large topic. It’s a complex and nuanced one, too. Furthermore, fully unpacking colonialism and its devastating, widespread and pervasive effects deserves a lot more time than we have today. So, let’s focus up. We’re here to talk about neighbourhoods, so, as much as it hurts, we are going to have to leave every other institution aside, just for today. Decolonised neighbourhoods will better reflect Aotearoa’s people. Through art and language, structures and environments, we can confront this country’s very real and ongoing colonial history and consciously make space for future Māori representation. This decolonisation will mean deconstructing what is in our neighbourhoods, who they’re for, and the institutions behind their creation. From there, it will mean purposeful and meaningful Māori and iwi involvement to consider what these spaces could become.
Keywords:Aotearoa, New Zealand, neighbourhoods, decolonisation, urban diversity, Māori design, architecture and culture, indigeneity
ANZSRC Field of Research:451131 Te whakamahere ā-tāone, ā-rohe o te Māori (Māori urban and regional planning), 330411 Urban design
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