The title of this journal entry is intentionally blunt, yet it appears to warrant further repeating: the assigned north-western portion of our globe is not the south eastern portion of out globe. Different geography, different biodiversity, different climates, and different people. Similarities can be found between , all geographies, all biodiversity, all climates and all people but generally speaking they are different enough to assume that, just because something works in one area, does not mean it will work in all areas. This statement should not be understood as a proclamation that one area is intrinsically superior to another portion, although it probably can be twisted as such. Read ‘different’ as ‘different’ without any value assigned to one variation over another.
Yiftachel in ‘Re-engaging Planning Theory? Towards South-Eastern Perspective’ offers evidence of the point above in a conversation of ‘ethnicity, homeland, and planning’ as well as a summary of data collected on planning journals and where the subject areas are for scholarly literature, Anglo-America won out, but I think that there is another source that was overlooked that supports Yiftachel’s claim, early colonisation construction. I am most familiar with the colonization of Virginia so that will be my point of reference, but I am sure that evidence of this all over the globe exists. The English were unbelievably underprepared for building livable colonies in what became Massachusets, Virginia, and North Carolina in the early going. The thatched roofing common in England at the time proved to be, among other things, a breeding ground for insects in the new. Choices in location lead to settlements near brackish water breeding more disease. Traditional English crops died, in part, leading to periods of starvation. Finally, not knowing the geography of the region, often lead the colonists to begin building in areas at or below water lines amplifying issues of disease begun by poor water and insects bread in thatched roofs and poor water (James Town, Wikipedia). The colonies were not livable until there were conscious efforts to change how the colonies were built and resources collected that took into account the difference in climates and geography of the America as opposed to Europe.
Yiftachel argument for the inclusion of nonwestern source material reflects the desire to re-envision urban planning ideology in a modern setting, thus better planning in areas with non-anglo-European population(s). However, if the everyday engineering of one region does not work in another region, it should also be assumed that the larger ideological assumptions probably will not work either. The colonists did not know that their roofs would bread insects that spread disease and would kill them and they also did not recognize the Powhatan Confederacy represented a larger local ideological framework that was different than the one they came from in England. This is not what Yiftachel was arguing at all, but it should be included in his argument because it represents how the different assumptions affect the environment in which people operate. One is very physical in its assumption, the other not as much. Both make the same argument.