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Architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and the built environment in general exist in a complex relationship with society. On the one hand, they may represent certain remarkable achievements in creativity and innovation that enhance ways of living; on the other hand, they are often instrumentalized in power relationships that seek to reinforce dominant ideologies and moral codes, limit and regulate non-normative ways of living, and perpetuate systems of inequality and oppression. Just as we might revere certain structures as symbols of design ingenuity, technological progress, or luxury, so too should we maintain a critical awareness of how the built environment has engineered and exacerbated systemic racism (especially anti-Black racism), settler colonialism, environmental degradation, gender and class disparities, and other forms of social and spatial injustice.
With that in mind, this guide offers resources on equity, diversity, and inclusion issues within the built environment—and reflects upon the built environment both in terms of the actual spaces we construct, inhabit, and make meaning from, and the evolving ideas of those in the disciplines and professions who theorize, design, plan and bring that environment into being.
The guide was compiled by faculty, staff, and student members of CAPLA’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, with input from various larger discussions and events within the college. We acknowledge that this is an incomplete and non-comprehensive collection, inherently fraught with the troubles of inclusion and exclusion that imperil any such gathering of resources. However, it is meant to be a starting point that might launch a user’s own research and pursuit of knowledge.
With an understanding that all efforts toward equity and social justice require continuous engagement and adaptive methods, we plan to revise and update the guide over time. If you’d like to recommend resources for addition, please contact Greg Ruffing, School of Architecture administrative associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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