Inscribing universal values into the urban landscape: New York, Jerusalem, and Winnipeg as case studies

Noam Shoval*, Elizabeth Strom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The growing importance of culture in contemporary society and the rising importance of tourism in the economic base of postindustrial cities have, in recent years, led to the construction of new "flagship-museums" characterized by their size and spectacular architecture. Their purpose is to capture the public imagination, to attract tourists, and to promote the notion that those cities have successfully transformed themselves from centers of manufacturing into centers of culture. These trends have also given rise to a new breed of museums: institutions established by foundations with value-laden educational agendas such as freedom, tolerance, and human rights. This phenomenon is also characterized by gigantic public and private investment in the structures that host the "collections," and by the use of signature architecture. This article, based on three case studies, will examine the emergence of this new extension to the "flagship-museum paradigm" of urban development.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)143-161
Number of pages19
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1The first author of this manuscript wishes to acknowledge the support of The Halbert Centre for Canadian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the German Israeli-Foundation for Scientific Research. 2Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Noam Shoval, Department of Geography, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus Campus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel; telephone: +972-2-5881433; fax: +972-2-5820549; e-mail:


  • Museums
  • Signature architecture
  • Urban development


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