porter and barry on planning in victoria and bc


Libby Porter and Janice Barry, ‘Bounded recognition: urban planning and the textual mediation of Indigenous rights in Canada and Australia’, Critical Policy Studies (Published online: 02 Jun 2014).

While the recognition of marginalized social groups has become widely accepted as an important consideration for contemporary planning, the particular challenge of Indigenous recognition has barely registered in urban planning contexts. In this paper, we use a discursive and interpretive analysis of urban planning texts from Victoria, Australia, and British Columbia, Canada, to illustrate how the ‘contact zone’ between Indigenous peoples and urban planning is produced and reproduced through texts. Discursive processes serve to bound and limit the recognition of Indigenous rights and interests, allowing only very small and shallow zones of contact in each place. Our findings from these cases show that these processes arise from quite different orders of discourse, and two social fields: Indigenous recognition and urban planning. The discourses present in both fields really matter for how the contact zone is persistently bounded to established territorial, political and administrative orders. In identifying these boundaries, our paper opens up new ways of thinking about, and engaging in, boundary-crossing work in planning.

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