Tradition in the Service of Modernity

Gwendolyn Wright

in Tensions of Empire

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 1997 | ISBN: 9780520205406
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520918085 | DOI:
Tradition in the Service of Modernity

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This chapter explores urbanism and architecture under French colonial policy during the period from 1900 to 1930, and discusses how urban design can be allied with power, relying on the support of political administrators and using artistic skills to further political goals. It cites examples of French colonial architecture in the works of Le Corbusier, and concludes that the historical experience of French imperialism suggests the kind of questions one must ask when analyzing the intentions and effects of Western-sponsored urban reforms.

Keywords: urbanism; architecture; French colonial policy; urban design; political goals; Le Corbusier; French imperialism; urban reforms

Chapter.  10056 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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