Cities Built Around Airports (and China Fact of the Day)

China is building 100 new airports by 2020. By the time that’s all done, 1.5 billion Chinese will live within 90 minutes of an airport.

That's from this review of the forthcoming book Aerotroplis: The Way We'll Live Next, which looks interesting.

The book's premise is that future cities will be built around airports as opposed to the other way around:

What rules in today’s globalized economy is accessibility and speed, and modern airports are its fastest connection points—the physical embodiment of our increasingly e-commerce-driven world. Yes, the vast bulk of trade still goes by sea, but already one-third of its value travels by air. Indeed, the value of air cargo has grown more than four times faster than global trade over the past several decades.

And more:

Individual companies don’t compete. Supply chains compete. Networks and systems compete.” Soon to join that global competition are planned mega-airports/cities right out of the Kasarda playbook: the “aerotropolis emirates” of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha, where ambitious monarchs are “playing SimCity for real”; and South Korea’s stunning New Songdo City, a metropolis built around an airport built on a man-made island—a “pocket Manhattan” designed to rival Hong Kong for the cargo connectivity to mainland China that it offers the world economy.

The co-author is Greg Lindsay, who writes about "the intersection of transportation, urbanization, and globalization." For one article he wrote, Lindsay spent three continuous weeks in airplanes or airports.

As someone who has spent too much time looking up UPS and FedEx cargo routes and international commerical flight routes, and spent too much time perusing the message boards of flyertalk.com to read about airport lounges, mileage programs, and the business prospects of the new SFO-ZRH non-stop — I am looking forward to this book!

(On a related note, I reccomend this USA Today Twitter feed for the latest airline industry news.)

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