TRUMP ERA: An Extreme Consequence of an Apolitical Urbanism
TRUMP ERA: AN EXTREME CONSEQUENCE OF AN APOLITICAL URBANISM
The Trump era, even if surprising to some, can be traced as a consequence of a spirit of individuality and autonomy coming from the first settlers, which manifested itself in a dispersed urban fabric unable to foster political maturity. Broadacre City—the utopia envisioned by Frank Lloyd Wright, formalized the extremely individualistic way of being culminating in the idea of everyone living on their own acre of land, limiting the political role of the city. The urban dispersion was facilitated by the post-war expansion of the highway infrastructure and suburban development, resulting in the white flight of the 70s. As we enter the 21st century, half of the American population live in suburban and rural environments lacking any urban political experience. This half was also severely affected by the financial crisis in 2008, following decades of neo-liberal capitalism. With no social resiliency in a physically isolated landscape, this half of the population felt unsafe and fragile, resulting in an ultraconservative and individualistic political thinking. Trump, representing this half, became diametrically oppositional to the other half, which is a clear materialization of the two extremes of the American urban fabric.
[By Tanzil Shafique and Paco Mejias
submitted for review:
EXTREME: Rethinking the Limits to Community, Architecture, and Urbanism
21-25 January 2018
Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway]