3 October 2019
Presented at: Philosophy of the City, Detroit MI
The “city for all” is only ever really a “city for us,” and sometimes the not-yet-“us”.
By tracing the conflation between inclusion and equity in planning documents and discourse, I reveal how the “city for all” narrative reinforces normative values and identities. Inclusion and equity are frequently used interchangeably or in self-referential loops: i.e. an equitable city needs to be inclusive; and, in order to be inclusive, the city needs equitable policies. In the Canadian context, there is also a pronounced and strange interplay between inclusion/equity policies and multiculturalism/diversity nationalist narratives.
The struggle for rights and inclusion—largely lead by the civil, women’s, and gay rights movements—did some good (sometimes great good) for some people, but not all people. I argue this is because inclusion was only offered by means of assimilation. Those who cannot or will not assimilate continue to be excluded. Exclusion/inclusion are two sides of the same hegemonic coin; a demonstration of the state’s hegemonic power, not a transformation of power. Continue reading “Annihilation or Assimilation: the dark side of inclusive planning”