Quartering the city in discourse and bricks: Articulating urban change in a South African enclave
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Focusing on the urban enclave in Cape Town known as De Waterkant, this paper examines the product and process of ‘quartering’ urban space—shaping urban space as the locus for the symbolic framing of culture. This paper advances recent studies of De Waterkant by applying the concept of quartering to understand urban change in an African context. Complicating existing research on De Waterkant, the findings show that the area has witnessed four distinct quartered identities including an ethnic quartering which was dismantled under apartheid, a Bohemian quartering that changed racial dynamics and improved housing stock, a ‘gay village’ quartering that engaged sexual identity performance as a strategy for place making and most recently a consumer lifestyle quartering that exhibited new notions of citizenship and consumption. This paper advances theorisation of how quartering as a process is articulated through the application of discursive and material tropes to the urban fabric of the city.