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“Your Mall with it All:” Luxury Development in a Globalizing African City

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AbstractIn this article I examine the impact of luxury development on an African city through a case study of the Accra Mall, in Accra, Ghana. Completed in 2008, the mall is the first self-contained shopping and leisure destination in the country and has been celebrated for propelling Ghana into the modern era. Situating the Accra Mall within the globalization of Accra, I contrast the private consumption-oriented development of twenty-first century Accra with the public architecture of the 1950s and 1960s, arguing that contemporary development in Accra responds to the demands of elite urban consumers while marginalizing the needs of the majority of urban residents. I then explore how elite development is contributing to shifting notions of urban citizenship, whereby citizenship is being defined in increasingly neoliberal and consumerist terms.

Affiliations: 1: University of California Santa Barbara


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