Architects-Planners and Justice for All

This post may have the same name as the 88’s Metallica album but it is not about music. In my quest to find quality content online concerning urban issues I got to Modut (Magazine for urban documentation, opinion + theory). Although it is no updated so recently, several articles took my attention.

After my late night conversation with Toussaint –where we discussed about participatory planning, particularly the case of Santo Domingo’s new China Town– my thoughts were going in the direction -once more- of architects or planners responsibilities and accountability.

Neither architects nor urban planners take a Hippocratic Oath, but the essence of our practices focus on human wellbeing. Consequently, fairness is implied and regulatory systems must be applied.

The article “The Evil Architects do – Crimes of Urbicide and the Built Environment” by Eyal Weizman was published in 2003 and it addresses urban aggression for military-like pretensions of social and economic improvement of an abstract “public”. I found it there, in Modut, and it keeps me close again to the idea of responsibility and accountability.

As said in it, legal basis for indicting architects or planners already exists. It’s just a matter of time to see, also in local contexts, calls for placing us on the accused stand of a tribunal. Lines in plans, maps and aerial photographs will be evidence of our actions –crimes or not.

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