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Representations of utopian urbanism and the feminist geopolitics of “new city” development

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Increasingly over the past few years the building of new cities “from scratch” has become a key strategy to promote development across much of the Global South. While several projects are currently under construction, many others exist primarily as proposals awaiting adequate investment or government action. This paper builds on previous literature that considers representations of such projects – promotional materials, digitally-produced video simulations, and master plans – as key components in the production of imagined urban futures. Through an exploration of the proposed Zone for Economic Development and Employment (ZEDE) in Honduras, this article demonstrates a feminist geopolitical approach focused on how such representations of utopian urbanism circulate through the local communities slated for new city development. I examine how representations of future urban spaces and future urban governance regimes become appropriated by local residents in organizing opposition or otherwise making sense of the proposed project’s potential impact on their lives.
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Keywords: New cities; feminist geopolitics; representation; utopian urbanism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

Publication date: September 14, 2019

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