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Retail urbanism: the neoliberalization of urban society by consumption in Santiago de Chile



By examining the current distribution of retail infrastructure in Santiago, this chapter describes the processes that conducted the ideological consolidation of the neoliberal logics at the local scale and through consumption activities in retail spaces. I will highlight the transformations in meanings and functions of Chilean shopping malls, and the results in a multi-dimensional consumption experience that restrained the city and transformed the notion of ‘right to the city’ into ‘right to the mall.’ In a first place, I will offer a theoretical background to understand the role of consumption spaces in the neoliberal urbanism debate, followed by a historical revision of the genealogy of foreign retail infrastructure in Santiago de Chile, and I’ll conclude with a consideration around the current tensions of Santiago’s consumption urban society.
... Even though it did not come out as an urbanization policy, neoliberalism has no doubt fed on cities the most and directly influenced the urban space. There is a great deal of studies in the literature that discusses and highlights the relation of neoliberal policies to urbanization and urban economy (Carmody and Owusu, 2016;De Simone, 2017;Dincer, 2011;Güzey, 2014;Harvey, 2019;Jessop, 2002;Peck and Tickell, 2002;Rossi and Vanolo, 2015;Swyngedouw, Moulaert, and Rodriguez, 2002). ...
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