Should we build cities from scratch?

China 0 Comment 2

With another 2.5 billion urban dwellers predicted within the next 30 years, should we expand existing cities? Or is there a case for starting afresh?

People have been building new cities from scratch for millennia. From the foundation myths surrounding Athens and Rome, to the clearance of virgin forests in western New York state to create the “garden city” of Buffalo, to scores of purpose-built capitals – Brasília, Canberra, Astana, Washington DC – building new cities is just something that humans do.

When countries rise up, when markets emerge, people build new cities. Today, though, we are taking it to unheard-of levels. We have never before built so many new cities in so many places at such great expense as we are right now.

We’re going to develop more urban area in the next 100 years than already exist on Earth

Scores of new cities are rising across the world from previously untouched desert and jungle, or on land “reclaimed” from the sea. While the history of cities built from scratch is long, the scale of the current epidemic is beyond anything seen before. 

If you build a new city you don’t have to relocate or work around existing roads, rivers, factories or houses

The developer’s goal is to maximise profits … There is not much money to be made in affordable family housing

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Source: china
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