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Urban Planning and the Concept of Community

  • Author(s): Monteils, Louis
  • Advisor(s): Estrada, Leobardo
  • et al.

This thesis examines the concept of community and provides an overview of how it was interpreted and

used by planners in Los Angeles, from the middle of the 20th century to the present. First, I study how

the concept of community emerged in sociology, by setting it in historical moments during which both

social sciences, society and the city changed importantly. Second, I review the evolution of urban

planning practices in Los Angeles from the 1960s to the 1990s. To do so, I provide a critical

interpretation of archive (plans, correspondence, and other documents) and newspaper articles, and I

highlight how the practice of planning was related to political ideas and ideals about “communities”. I

conclude by suggesting how social sciences influenced planners, and how urban planners still envision the

city through the prism of “communities” today.

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