Aerotropolis, The Way We'll Live Next
Giulio de Sturco
An Aerotropolis is an urban form whose layout, infrastructure, and economy are centered on an airport, offering businesses speedy connectivity to suppliers, customers, and enterprise partners worldwide. It is a city that’s less connected to its direct neighbours than to its peers thousands of miles away. An Aerotropolis is deeply rooted in globalisation, allowing the transportation of not only goods, but intellect as well.
Popularised by American Academic Dr. John Kasarda, an Aerotropolis is the model of a city driven by a combination of business needs and state control. This kind of city captures a breadth of themes that run through civilisation – from our re-appropriation of natural landscapes to our unquestioning faith in technology – against the backdrop of refined, elegant and logical architecture. It is a postmodern city, a vision or perhaps a mirage. It offers windows of opportunity to solve the dilemma of modernity: reconciling economic development and sustainable growth.
This project rides across the most developed examples of Aerotropolis in the world, aiming at depicting their common features and specific development patterns, as well as the challenges and solutions they’ve encountered. The visual approach to this series aims to examine the gap between the built environment and our daily interactions with it as technology and globalisation continue to evolve. With the changing approach to city planning and functional architecture, an obsession to rhapsodise about the past has risen. One example is implanting existing spaces into new environments like New Songdo’s airport city, which includes a Jack Nicklaus golf course alongside landscapes that were modelled on Venetian canals and Central Park.
Most Aerotropolis developments to date have been organic, spontaneous and haphazard. But in the future, by adopting a synergic approach with strategic infrastructure and urban planning, they can be more economically efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and socially and environmentally sustainable.