Monday, March 1, 2010

Copy and Paste Urbanism - New Songdo

Friend and colleague Franz Dill sends along a great article from Fast Company, "Cisco's Big Bet on New Songdo: Creating Cities From Scratch" here.

Having experienced the building and growth of cities from scratch such as Dubai, a key aspect missing in the article is the fact that humans form societies and the societies revolve around culture.  The success of copied and pasted cities will depend on whether the regime or government supporting the effort is autocratic or democratic.  Autocratic regimes will have a higher success rate with copying and pasting.  A democratic environment that will respect individual rights and choices, either perceived or real, will have a tendency to challenge the status quo represented by the product (city) being replicated.

Replicating cities in democracies will need a substantial marketing budget to be successful!

Also, such cities developed in regions where the qualitative and quantitative value to the inhabitants increases substantially, the success rate for a short period of time will again be good.

In the final analysis, if a people or place defining the cities, regions, or nations do not represent a uniqueness or distinction, after the initial uptick the sustainability of such becomes questionable.

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