Capital-cum-port cities on islands tend to be disproportionately large and cosmopolitan; their multiple effects on their peri-urban interface are quite dramatic when there is hardly any hinterland to speak of. In these cases, urban growth is often manifest by the ‘city as island’ breaching its fortified encasement, spilling over and embracing a physical as well as cultural scape that does not necessarily share its rubric of ideas and epistemologies. The breaching of city walls on small islands (by locals, and not by invaders) is thus a symbolic as well as material manifestation of a creeping and pervasive urban project of modernisation which nevertheless leaves puddles of anti-urban angst and bravado. This paper engages with this ‘articulation by compression’ dynamic, and fleshes it out in relation to three Mediterranean capital-cum-port island cities: Palma (Spain), Valletta (Malta) and Corfu/Kérkyra (Greece).


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pp. 137-151
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