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Urban development and visual culture: Commodifying the gaze in the regeneration of Tigné Point, Malta


  • Janet Speake


This paper explores some of the hitherto under-researched intersections between urban (re)development, urban planning and visual culture. What emerges is an academic context that, to date, has largely compartmentalised discrete literatures on ‘view’, ‘value of the view’ and cityscape change, (re)imagineering and (re)scripting). It shows how materialising processes associated with the commodification of a panoramic view in politico-economic and cultural terms can be used to transform and regenerate along neoliberal lines. It demonstrates how panoramas, when treated as a commodity within the context of neoliberal capitalism, are appropriated, (re)imagined and (re)scripted by architects and property developers to create high status, residential and commercial space for an affluent élite. As such, panoramas are a mechanism for the acceleration of capital accumulation that inherently create new and reinforce existing spatial inequalities. This study draws on research into the commodification of the view of the historic city of Valletta in the redevelopment of Tigné Point, the largest, most comprehensive regeneration scheme in Malta in recent years.

Suggested Citation

  • Janet Speake, 2017. "Urban development and visual culture: Commodifying the gaze in the regeneration of Tigné Point, Malta," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 54(13), pages 2919-2934, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:54:y:2017:i:13:p:2919-2934

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