Sex and the Revitalized City
256 pages, 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
13 b&w photos
Release Date:01 Jan 2011
Release Date:01 Apr 2010
Release Date:01 Jan 2011
Release Date:01 Jan 2011

Sex and the Revitalized City

Gender, Condominium Development, and Urban Citizenship

UBC Press

Young, single women emerged in the late 1990s as powerful consumers in the wave of real estate development that was overtaking and reshaping the landscape of cities. Newspaper reports and depictions of urban women in popular culture suggested that condominium living in particular was offering women new-found freedom, financial independence, and personal security. But is home ownership a path to liberation for women, or were these reports merely celebratory rhetoric that disguised more disquieting trends?

To get at the reality behind the rhetoric, Sex and the Revitalized City approaches the phenomenon from the perspective of planners, developers, and condo owners in Toronto. Explorations of three themes – tenure, community, and lifestyle – within the context of a critical analysis of the neoliberal agenda reveal that the relationship between women and the city is being remade in the image of fast capital and consumer citizenship. Filtered through condominium ownership, neoliberal ideologies are not freeing women from constraints – they are reinforcing patriarchal norms.

This fresh look at gentrification and urban revitalization exposes the notion of women’s emancipation through condominium ownership as a marketing ploy rather than a major shift in gender relations.

This book will appeal to scholars and students of urban studies, gender and women’s studies, and human geography.

This original study of the gendering processes occurring in the neoliberal city is a significant addition to scholarly debate on cities and gender. Empirically grounded in the intricacies of the condo market in Toronto, it both adds to, and updates, the pathbreaking work around gendered critical urban analysis. An accessible and incisive text that will no doubt instigate future discussions. Loretta Lees, Cities Group, Department of Geography, King’s College, London
Leslie Kern is an assistant professor of women’s studies at Mount Allison University.



1 Growing Up: Toronto’s Condominium Boom and the Politics of Urban Revitalization

2 Troubling Tenure: Condominium Ownership, Gender, and the Entrepreneurial Subject

3 Under Construction: The Place of Community in the Neoliberal City

4 Securing Relations of Threat: The Intersection of Gender, Fear, and Capital

5 A Date with the Big City: Gendering the Myth of Urbanity






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