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Decolonizing Cities Symposium

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Hālau o Haumea, UH Mānoa Campus

2645 Dole Street, Room 209A

Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

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We seek to open up possibilities for indigenous urbanism and decolonizing urban planning by creating a space to talk about something we are not sure how to define or do but that we know is essential for justice and our collective futures. What does aloha ‘aina look like in Honolulu? How does native knowledge provide solutions to perennial urban dilemmas? What are the key touchstones in the effort to decolonize cities and how can we decolonize urban development and municipal change?

Too often aloha ‘āina and other decolonial practices are not understood in planning as urban possibilities. Honolulu is given up as lost, the lo'i buried underneath concrete. In this view, indigenous planning takes place in rural communities and the remote valleys. But this assumption that indigenous values and lifeworlds cannot be manifested in cities bolsters the colonial construct of indigeneity as incompatible with modernity and cedes the urban realm as a perpetually colonized space. When we do incorporate native identities into urban development, we turn to design and landscape elements, but struggle to integrate indigenous epistemologies into a transformative practice.

It will not be easy to decolonize cities within ongoing colonial dispossessions and longstanding structures of political and economic inequalities. But we hope that by holding this symposium we will emerge with sharper analyses and more ambitious visions.


Format

Scholars are invited to share their questions and critiques aimed at understanding indigenous urbanism and improving planning practice. Practitioners are invited to share their experiences and knowledges of decolonizing possibilities and obstacles. The syposium will consist of 3 key panels and a critical workshop focused on imagining necessary shifts in the place-making professions to achieve change.

The panels will focus on integrating Indigenous knowledges in planning, teaching and learning to decolonize cities (pedagogy), and applied planning respectively. On the morning of Day 2, two consecutive walking tours will be hosted focused on uncovering untold histories of urban Honolulu.


Mahalo to our funders: UH Manoa Student Activity & Program Fee Board, UH Manoa SEED Ideas, Gladys Brandt Chair in Hawaiian Studies, Hawaii American Studies Association and the Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies

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Location

Hālau o Haumea, UH Mānoa Campus

2645 Dole Street, Room 209A

Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

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