In the late 1950s, a new business center was created in Jamaica's capital city, hastening the decline of its old downtown and coinciding with the emergence of elite suburbs. This essay explores the social significance of the development of this “New Kingston,” treating it as a critical marker of the creation of a parallel social infrastructure and all-encompassing set of social arrangements to serve the city's elites. The author's central concern is with how social differences that were once openly coded through race and color now were articulated in spatial terms. The essay aims to demonstrate how differences often viewed as inert, unchangeable facts of nature are in actuality constituted, reconfigured, and recoded over time: in this instance through discursive and symbolic spatial and place-making practices.

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