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an investigation into how architecture can mitigate experiences of urban topophobia in post-apartheid south africa?

The key idea of my inquiry, fear and topophobia, have always been related to discussions and practices of urban form by significantly influencing residential design, urban planning and spatial distribution of citizens. The inquiry addresses the impact of fear and topophobia on urban form in post-apartheid Cape Town, South Africa. The way that fear influences the experience of urban space and form is a challenge that is critical to urban citizens globally . In South Africa however, its potential for perpetuating a modern version of apartheid make it a specifically critical and relevant area of inquiry. The reason for inquiry into fear and topophobia is to determine how the legacy of this spatial planning affects, enforces, and ultimately perpetuates our current experiences of fear, topophobia, and safety in our city today. I will therefore be focusing on the latent form of topophobia instead of on a fear of place-based crime and violence. The reason I have decided to make this distinction is that emotions such as fear have historically been overlooked as a topic of research amongst planners as a legitimate and relevant urban challenge. Therefore, there exists a need to come up with new and unique strategies for mitigating experiences of fear in the city as well as a need to rethink strategies targeting fear.

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raheema parker

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