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The adventures of the French architect Michel Ecochard in post-independence Dakar: a transnational development expert drifting between commitment and expediency

Luce Beeckmans (UGent)
(2014) JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE. 9(6). p.849-871
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Abstract
After many countries gained independence from the 1960s onwards, both continuity and change characterized development planning in the former African colonies. While new bi-lateral and multi‐lateral development organizations emerged on the scene, other bi‐lateral development agencies maintained their colonial functioning. In either case, independences and the subsequent increase in development projects opened up new opportunities within the domain of architecture and urban planning for architects, as development experts, to expand geographically their professional practice towards Africa. While most authors focus on the way the transnational practice and geo-political framework of developing experts affected their architectural and urban designs in the Global South, by looking at the work of the French architect Michel Ecochard in Dakar (Senegal) from 1963 to 1967 within the framework of the French Fonds d’Aide et de Coopération (FAC), I will explore to what degree the individual agendas and ambitions of development experts determined the outcome as well as the process of development projects. Hence, this paper illustrates that just as the high level development plans of many development agencies were balanced between altruism and economic, cultural and political interest, the work of development experts also fluctuated intensely between social commitment and personal expediency. In this paper architecture and urban planning will thus be used to gain a more nuanced understanding of the mechanisms and logics of development planning, a topic which is still relevant today.
Keywords
development planning, Dakar, Michel Ecochard, urban planning

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Chicago
Beeckmans, Luce. 2014. “The Adventures of the French Architect Michel Ecochard in Post-independence Dakar: a Transnational Development Expert Drifting Between Commitment and Expediency.” Journal of Architecture 9 (6): 849–871.
APA
Beeckmans, Luce. (2014). The adventures of the French architect Michel Ecochard in post-independence Dakar: a transnational development expert drifting between commitment and expediency. JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE, 9(6), 849–871.
Vancouver
1.
Beeckmans L. The adventures of the French architect Michel Ecochard in post-independence Dakar: a transnational development expert drifting between commitment and expediency. JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE. 2014;9(6):849–71.
MLA
Beeckmans, Luce. “The Adventures of the French Architect Michel Ecochard in Post-independence Dakar: a Transnational Development Expert Drifting Between Commitment and Expediency.” JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE 9.6 (2014): 849–871. Print.
@article{5840434,
  abstract     = {After many countries gained independence from the 1960s onwards, both continuity and change characterized development planning in the former African colonies. While new bi-lateral and multi‐lateral development organizations emerged on the scene, other bi‐lateral development agencies maintained their colonial functioning. In either case, independences and the subsequent increase in development projects opened up new opportunities within the domain of architecture and urban planning for architects, as development experts, to expand geographically their professional practice towards Africa. While most authors focus on the way the transnational practice and geo-political framework of developing experts affected their architectural and urban designs in the Global South, by looking at the work of the French architect Michel Ecochard in Dakar (Senegal) from 1963 to 1967 within the framework of the French Fonds d’Aide et de Coopération (FAC), I will explore to what degree the individual agendas and ambitions of development experts determined the outcome as well as the process of development projects. Hence, this paper illustrates that just as the high level development plans of many development agencies were balanced between altruism and economic, cultural and political interest, the work of development experts also fluctuated intensely between social commitment and personal expediency. In this paper architecture and urban planning will thus be used to gain a more nuanced understanding of the mechanisms and logics of development planning, a topic which is still relevant today.},
  author       = {Beeckmans, Luce},
  issn         = {1360-2365},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF ARCHITECTURE},
  keywords     = {development planning,Dakar,Michel Ecochard,urban planning},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {849--871},
  title        = {The adventures of the French architect Michel Ecochard in post-independence Dakar: a transnational development expert drifting between commitment and expediency},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2014.982146},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2014},
}

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