Arcologies, Eco-shelters and Environmental Exemption: Constructing New Divisions and Inequalities in the Anthropocene


This article reviews some trends in the sociotechnical development of urban spaces and controlled environments. It provides past and present examples of spatial, volumetric and symbolic constructions that have functioned to enclose or divide before describing a new context of markets that promise to provide habitats or settlements offering ‘environmental exemption’. In other words, this is the ability to pay for access to ‘clean’, ‘green’, ‘pure’ and ‘politically free’ environments. Examples of existing and proposed eco-enclaves of various kinds are given and discussed. The conclusion considers some implications of these possible projects of ‘salvation’ or ‘segregation’.


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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2019-09-17
Pages:60 to 73
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How to Cite
South, N. (2019) “Arcologies, Eco-shelters and Environmental Exemption: Constructing New Divisions and Inequalities in the Anthropocene”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 9(2), pp. 60-73. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v9i2.1007.

Author Biography

Professor Nigel South has taught at various universities in London and New York and between 1981 and 1990 worked as a Research Sociologist at the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence (now Drugscope), London, before returning to the Department in 1990.

He has previously served on the editorial boards of Sociology, The International Journal of Drug Policy, and The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, and continues to serve on the board of Critical Criminology and as an Associate Editor of the USA journal, Deviant Behavior. He is currently an Adjunct Professor, School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.

Following roles as Director of the Health and Social Services Institute, Head of the Department of Health and Human Sciences, and Director of Health Partnerships, he is now Pro Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Law and Management, and Academic Partnerships.