Celebration at 25: Uneven geographical development in themed urban utopias

Authors: Kris Bezdecny*, California State University - Los Angeles
Topics: Urban Geography
Keywords: urban theming, rights to the city, uneven geographical development, utopia
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: 8217, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


When Celebration, Florida broke ground in 1994, it became a relative oddity: a company town, owned by the Walt Disney Corporation, designed for consumers of the company, rather than its labor. Celebration promised to be the contemporary answer to Walt Disney’s vision of an experimental prototype community of tomorrow: one in which optimized urban design would lead to optimized sociopolitical and behavioral outcomes, or an urban utopia. This presentation will interrogate the narratives surrounding the town of Celebration before, during, and after its development, the current discourse surrounding the community, and evaluate what communities such as Celebration represent in the consideration of unevenly developed urban spaces, urban theming, and to rights to the city.

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