, Volume 66, Issue 1-2, pp 43-56
Date: 22 Sep 2006

Gated communities, commodification and aestheticization: The case of the Lisbon metropolitan area

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the commodification processes and the aestheticization practices that shape gated communities and on the way these are connected to their segregational dimension, which is illustrated through the case of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (LMA). First, I discuss the (increasing) aestheticization of commodities, emphasising some of the more problematic theoretical issues it involves. Following this discussion I present and analyse the ‘Lisbon case’. I provide a brief overview of gated communities in the LMA and then present and analyse the results obtained through a content analysis of LMA gated community advertisements and observation of their site semantics as conveyed through general built form, including physical location, planning, architecture, landscaping, and toponymy. I relate these findings to the LMA gated community market characteristics and to the broader prevailing socio-spatial context regarding their emergence.