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Shoppers on the Kufurstendam, Berlin

The most common totalizing criticism is that today's places have become commodified: "The universal Megalopolis . . . intends . . . the reduction of the environment to nothing but commodity. (Frampton 1983a, reprinted in Nesbitt 1996, 482)

This is more than just pointing out that places charge fees or make profits. One way to make a place into a commodity is to sell the area for redevelopment. More subtle is to make it a stage for the marketing of experiences. The place then offers a commodity that is itself; this competes against other places offering rival experiences, as we can see from the racks of travel brochures.

But, what is wrong with commodification?