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Keno capitalism

Taking Los Angeles as their model city, urban geographers Michael Dear and Steven Flusty, in their 1998 article "Postmodern Urbanism" (Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 88.1, March 1998) use the term "keno capitalism" to describe urban spatial organization. Traditional urban models such as the Chicago School's see cities as a series of concentric zones surrounding a downtown core. Keno economics takes its name from the game of Keno, in which numbers arranged on a grid on a gamecard get covered up or left open according to random draw (unlike with Bingo, Keno players get to choose the numbers on the card). In Los Angeles, as in many cities, areas of dramatically varied function and character are arranged in a seemingly haphazard manner. Cities grow according to their own internal logic, and/or according to the investment of outsiders whose methods of extracting profit from the city may or may not proceed according to traditional Fordism (mass production and consumption typical twentieth-century advanced economies). Keno capitalism envisions the city as a "mosaic of variegated monocultures" that "renders discussion of 'the city' increasingly reductionist."

(Mosaic image by Tom Gowanlock http://fineartamerica.com/featured/mosaic-background-tom-gowanlock.html)

  • Part of Speech: noun
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  • Industry/Domain: Geography
  • Category: Cities & towns
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