Marketing the “Tropical Playground”: Issues of Exclusion and Development in Miami’s Imagery

Marketing the “Tropical Playground”: Issues of Exclusion and Development in Miami’s Imagery

Tom Cairns Clery (Department of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/jagr.2012100103
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Miami’s marketers have a long and successful history of creating and recreating imagery that draws visitors towards the ‘magic city’ or the ‘tropical playground.’ This paper investigates Miami’s marketing from an historical perspective by examining the role and legacy of various discourses emanating from powerful city actors over the past century. Spatial analysis including spatial autocorrelation and Local Moran’s I are conducted to investigate further Miami’s geographical segregation. The findings suggest that unequal, segregating and exclusive discourses have become so normalized within Miami’s marketing and political structure that change is becoming increasingly difficult as attitudes institutionalize further. Using a discourse analysis set around a framework of social exclusion and adverse incorporation, and semi-structured interviews, this paper also examines the current spatial formation of the city with insights from leading figures in Miami’s marketing industry to suggest that the right to the city is still a distant dream for Miami’s other neighborhoods and populations.
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Datasets And Methodology

The geographical study area for this paper is broad-based and inclusive as the terms Miami, city and county will be used interchangeably in reference to a Greater Miami which we will define as Miami-Dade County minus the four largest and most rural census tracts (345-8) which fall mainly in the Everglades or Biscayne National Park (the vast majority of which is underwater). Figure 1 illustrates the geographical location of Miami-Dade County as well as highlighting the City of Miami (together with South Beach which is part of the separate City of Miami Beach) and a number of neighborhoods within the city that will be mentioned.

Figure 1.

Study area of Miami-Dade County (minus tracts 345-8) and the City of Miami (plus South Beach)


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