Tag Archives: contentious politics

Finding Causes Of Contention In Architecture

I started this post when the article was originally published. Now, however, I have forgotten what additional points I wanted to make. The article, despite it’s confusing writing, is interesting and worth reading, especially for fans of contentious politics and/or architecture, which is why I am posting the article and my intro to it.

In the a past New York Times’ Magazine, Christopher Caldwell wrote an article (“Revolting High Rises”) that suggests part of the cause for the recent Paris riots may be in the architecture of the city. He writes:

The Swiss architect Le Corbusier, as Francophobes have been more than ready to explain, bears some of the blame[…]. His designs inspired many of the suburbs where the riots of October and November began. In fact, he inspired the very practice of housing the urban poor by building up instead of out. Soaring apartments, he thought, would finally give sunlight and fresh air to city laborers, who had been trapped in narrow and fetid back streets since the dawn of urbanization. But high-rise apartments mixed badly with something poor communities generate in profusion: groups of young, armed, desperate males. Anyone who could control the elevator bank (and, when that became too terrifying to use, the graffiti-covered stairwells) could hold hundreds of families ransom.

I have posted the entire article below the jump.
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