Spaces for Consumption

Spaces for Consumption

Steven Miles

Language: English

Pages: 216

ISBN: 1412946662

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book offers an in-depth and sophisticated analysis of the processes that underpin the commodification of the city and explains the physical manifestation of consumerism as a way of life. Engaging directly with the social, economic, and cultural processes that have resulted in our cities being defined through consumption, this vibrant book clearly demonstrates the ways in which consumption has come to play a key role in the reinvention of the post-industrial city. The book provides a critical understanding of how consumption redefines the consumers' relationship to place using empirical examples and case studies to bring the issues to life. It discusses many of the key spaces and arenas in which this redefinition occurs including shopping, themed space, mega-events, and architecture.

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community events, social gatherings, the arts, sports and games, social movements and civic engagements are all being encroached upon by the commercial sphere. The great issue at hand, in the coming years, is whether civilization can survive with a greatly reduced government and cultural sphere, and only the commercial sphere is left as the primary mediator of human life. (Rifkin, 2000: 10) Spaces for consumption play a key role in framing an individual’s relationship to both the city and to the

regenerated public and private spaces have become so fundamental to how a city relates to both itself and its external audience, the nature of that relationship is, however, uncertain. This chapter is concerned with the role of architecture in providing a physical, ideological context within which spaces for consumption can thrive and hence with some of the specific places in which such a process is manifested. For authors such as Crilley (1993a: 231), the architecture of redevelopment is a key

centre neither destroyed the city nor was it simply a machine for consumption: rather, it offered a social and cultural centre and effectively a regional sub-centre that had not existed before. For Gruen, the regional shopping centre was an ‘agent of recentralization’ (Wall, 2005: 58). As well as its broader 06-Miles-4041-CH-06.indd 104 14/06/2010 11:02:41 AM Shopping for Dreams 105 urban function, the shopping mall reinvented shopping as a potentially pleasurable experience. As Gruen and

as plans for the public area of the Parque das Nações (Park of Nations) were concerned, this is demonstrated by varied spaces that seek to reflect the nomadic nature of contemporary urban life. For Carriere and Demaziere (2002), the Lisbon experience reflects a broader process of urban entrepreneurialism and a transformation of urban sites by public-private partnerships. In this respect, EXPO ’98, as personified by the Park of Nations, can rightly claim to be the largest urban regeneration scheme

arriving confident and assured in the modern world. To these ends, Broudehoux argues that the mega-event acts as an instrument of popular pacification offering a means of distraction from daily struggle. Having attended the Games myself, an abiding image is indeed of dozens and dozens of local Chinese people gazing over the perimeter fence at the Olympic site and all the wonders that it beheld. The point here is that the Games are more accessible to some consumers than they are to others. The

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