PD Smith

Survival of the swiftest

20 March 2011 | cities, Guardian, Reviewing, Wells | One comment

"In his dystopian novel The Sleeper Awakes, begun in 1899, HG Wells portrayed a future world in which vast machine-like cities were linked by air travel. Since then, no vision of the urban future has been complete without ubiquitous air transport, from Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1926), in which gnat-like aircraft soar among the skyscrapers, to the police spinners of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982). In 1997 JG Ballard predicted that "the airport will be the true city of the 21st century". Now John Kasarda, an American management consultant and academic, is jetting around the world showing politicians and business leaders how Ballard's prediction is about to come true."

My Guardian review of Aerotropolis: The Way We'll Live Next by John D Kasarda and Greg Lindsay, and The New North: The World in 2050 by Laurence C. Smith is here.

One comment so far:

  1. Paul Halpern | 10 April 2011

    Fascinating review. I enjoyed your insights about the decisions we must make to have a sustainable future, conserve energy, and prevent further global warming. I certainly wouldn't want to live in a city with an airport as its focus. Personally I think high-speed intercity rail is the way to go.

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