CityWalk as Hyperspace
On May of 1993, only a year after the Los Angeles riots, Universal CityWalk opened to the public as a shopping and entertainment complex simulating the city of Los Angeles. Its physical structure is a pedestrian corridor with a mixed design of both the American mall and theme park. In this hybrid streetscape, shops and restaurants designed almost as if they are park rides are reconstructions of authentic sites found in different parts of Los Angeles, Southern California, the country and the world collapsed together for leisure and consumption. While CityWalk may not be an actual city, its reproductions of the authentic become substitutes for the real, thus creating a hyperreal experience. This analysis of CityWalk--an outgrowth of malls and theme parks --follows Sharon Zukin's processes for examining the culture of the city: the capitalization of culture, the privatization and militarization of public space, and the relationship between the power of culture and the aesthetics of fear. At CityWalk, the hyperspace is embraced as the authentic, while the non-privatized public spaces of the city of Los Angeles further deteriorate in abandonment.
Gomez, Monica, "CityWalk as Hyperspace" (1998). URC Student Scholarship.
M. M. Taylor
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