cover of book

Landed Internationals: Planning Cultures, the Academy, and the Making of the Modern Middle East
by Burak Erdim
University of Texas Press, 2020
Cloth: 978-1-4773-2121-8 | eISBN: 978-1-4773-2123-2
Library of Congress Classification LF5250.A55E73 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 378.5636


2022 On the Brinck Book Award, University of New Mexico School of Architecture + Planning
Special Mention, First Book Prize, International Planning History Society

Landed Internationals examines the international culture of postwar urban planning through the case of the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey. Today the center of Turkey's tech, energy, and defense elites, METU was founded in the 1950s through an effort jointly sponsored by the UN, the University of Pennsylvania, and various governmental agencies of the United States and Turkey. Drawing on the language of the UN and its Technical Assistance Board, Erdim uses the phrase "technical assistance machinery" to encompass the sprawling set of relationships activated by this endeavor.

Erdim studies a series of legitimacy battles among bureaucrats, academics, and other professionals in multiple theaters across the political geography of the Cold War. These different factions shared a common goal: the production of nationhood—albeit nationhood understood and defined in multiple, competing ways. He also examines the role of the American architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill; the New York housing policy guru Charles Abrams; the UN and the University of Pennsylvania; and the Turkish architects Altuğ and Behruz Çinici. In the end, METU itself looked like a model postwar nation within the world order, and Erdim concludes by discussing how it became an important force in transnational housing, planning, and preservation in its own right.

See other books on: Education, Higher | Housing | Transnationalism | Turkey | Turkey & Ottoman Empire
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